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Milan Matulovic vs Jan Rode Pedersen
Jugoslavija (1981), ?
Caro-Kann Defense: Bronstein-Larsen Variation (B16)  ·  1-0


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Dec-07-12  David2009: Matulovic vs J Pedersen, 1981 White 18?

I can hardly be said to have solved this one. My first choice was 18.Bg4+ which is fine if Black blocks, but Black has the simple Kb7! leaving White looking foolish (e.g. 19.Qb3+ Kh8 20.Nxc6?? Nxg4 threatens mate). I then wondered about 18.Nxc6 Nxc6 19.Bb5 Rd6 20.Qa4 (or 19.Qa4 Rd6 20.Bb5) which looked promising (winning a Pawn) and decided to see what happened. Here's the puzzle position:

click for larger view

and link to Crafty End Game Trainer:

Surprise surprise - things are not so simple! The elusive robot slips through my naive attempts to net it and my best to date was a draw when the robot sacrifices R then B for a perpetual check. Hats off if you can win the position without silicon help!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is two pawns down.

Black may try something based on Nf3+.

After 18.Nxc6 Nxc6 19.Qa4 Rd6 20.Bf4 Kd8 21.Bxd6 Bxd6 22.Rxc6 Qd7 23.Bb5 Black looks bad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <David2009> <I then wondered about 18.Nxc6 Nxc6 19.Bb5 Rd6 20.Qa4>

I went with 19 Bb5 instead of 19 Qa4 as well. If black follows with 19...Rd6, try 20 Bf4, below, instead of 20 Qa4.

click for larger view

Now white has a nice attack. He threatens to remove the rook's protection of the knight with 21 Bxd6, so that he can follow with 22 Rxc6, pinning the queen.

To prevent this, it looks like black has to spend a tempo either moving his queen or his king out of harm's way.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's attack begins with a knight sac...ending in a Boden Like mate.
Dec-07-12  Rama: White can win the a-pawn with 18. Nb5 ..., but the puzzle's message is the open c-file is worth more than the pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I think knight bind know the man ledge in giving bells are ringing

church of reason a almighty 18.Nxc6 Nxc6 inceed the point now in

dada nib goofed it belch in c6 load the gates under c7 exposed to

knight tactics plus the bishop and queen also arrive spark knight

off clinch in a4 or bb5 to pin queens 19.qua4 grip in b8 all to get

off cline carnage after neddy i give 14.rc1 e4 as the example dump I

new in experience white coming up smelling of rose in c4 lamp c5

after c6 l0 very assured in steed recapture too f4 angle b5 great

line opening diagonals light a signature 19.a4 vantage b8 too hasty

as now stub knight unguarded boom 20.Rxc6 majesty dig in d7an a

21.bf4+ should really seal the dealing bd6 cart before the dsb knick

off in crept flank it honour in ah 22...Ka8 23.bb5 cub in foxtrot

black over done as the bishops take precedence capt coils crunch ie

kinga8 wrapped up...

Dec-07-12  BOSTER: <Bartimaeus> <Puzzles like this make me wonder as to how many moves do you have to see correctly to assume full credit>. My first Q. is why do you so care of about <full credit>. <Full credit> can't improve your chess understanding, your skill.

What does it mean <to see correctly>? If you think, that <POTD> solution is supposed to be like the line in the game this is sometimes wrong.

If you think that your solution should be like many players think , that is not an answer too.

At least ,I'd say your Q. is the good deflection from today puzzle, where you can find a lot of lines for white to win this game.

Dec-07-12  Conrad93: Another faulty puzzle.

19...Rd6 makes the puzzle even more difficult.

Dec-07-12  morfishine: I finally looked at the game score: Brutal Finish
Dec-07-12  Conrad93: I analyzed correctly with 19...Rd6.

I was surprised that black played this lame line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Question: If black plays 19...Rd6, how does he defend after 20. Bf4?
Dec-07-12  Conrad93: He loses the rook and eventually the game, but it's not as bad as the continuation here.

At least offer some resistance.


Dec-07-12  James D Flynn: Black is 2 pawns up but his K position is precarious, for instance White could regain a pawn by 18.Nb5 Q any 19.Nxa7+ clearly one of the candidates , another is to build pressure on c6 by Bb5 or Qc2. That plan would still be possible after Nb5 and Nxa7+. A different approach is to try to push the Black K further toward the a file, where it has less cover, by Bg4+. The Bg4+ plan needs the N to remain on d4 and thus precludes the Nb5 plan. Candidates Nb5, Bb5,Qc2,Qa4,Bg4+,Ba6+. 18.Nb5 Qb7 19.Na7+ Kd7(if Kb8 20.Rc3 Ka8 21.Qa4 and there is no adequate answer to the threat of Nxc6+) 20.Nxc6 Nxc6 21.Qxd5+Bd6(Black must continue to defend the Non c6 else he has no compensation for the united passed Q-side White pawns) 22.Bb5(now the N will fall and Whites Bs will harass the Black K) Ke7 23.Qxc6(not Bxc6 Bxh2+ and Rxd5) Qxc6 24.Rxc6 and Whites Q-side pawns will advance and win the game. 18.Bb5 c5(if Rd6 18.Qa4 c5 19.Ba6+ Kb8 20.Nb5 Qd7 21.Bxc5 Re6 22.Bxa7+ Ka8 23.Bc8 wins) 19.Ba6+ Kb8 20.Nb5 Qd7 21.Bxc5 Re5 22.Bxa7+Ka8 23.Nc7+ Kxa76 24.Bb5+ Kb8(kb6 25.Qa6#) 25.Qa8# 18.Qa4(probably the clearest because it combines with the other themes) c5(if Rd6 20. 19.Nb5 Qany 21.Nxd6 Bxd6 22.Rxc6 with decisive material advantage) 19.Ba6+ Kb8 20.Nb5 Qb6 21.b4 d4 22.bxc5 Qc6 23.Qa5 Re8 24.Nxd4 wins
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Another faulty puzzle. 19...Rd6 makes the puzzle even more difficult.> You realize that this is a real game, right? CG doesn't have the latitude to change the moves in order to meet your high standards.
Dec-07-12  Kikoman: Badly missed it. Today's puzzle is really tough for me.


Dec-07-12  MiCrooks: I thought the knight sack was pretty obvious given you knew there was a shot there. I didn't expect Black to simply give the piece back, but other tries failed also. I didn't get all the way to Rc8+ as Ka8 is another blunder in a terrible position, but as I played through the game I didn't come up with that move either. I immediately saw Rc7 threatening mate and in fact forcing mate as even if the Qxc7 or Black tries throwing pieces away against the White King in the end mate was coming just as surely.
Dec-07-12  Patriot: I don't have much time to look at this. 18.Nxc6 looks defendable after 18...Nxc6 19.Bb5 Rd6 20.Qa4 Kd7. I'm thinking 18.Nb5 is interesting but I'm not completely sure given the current material for black--it looks a bit suspicious.

I'm just not seeing the win on 18.Nxc6. Perhaps 18...Nxc6 19.Ba6+ Kb8 (19...Kd7 20.Qa4 looks pretty good) 20.Qa4 Rd6 21.Bb5.

Times up.

Dec-07-12  MiCrooks: The follow up Bb5 is not nearly as forcing as the game continuation Qa4. The problem is that Black is already up material. So he plays Qa5, keeps the Queen away temporarily and allows White his choice of recaptures.

Don't get me wrong, White still has an advantage but it is not nearly the crush that occurs with the game line. The game line forces Rd6 or something worse since the Queen effectively cuts off Black one decent Queen move.

Dec-07-12  MiCrooks: Rd6 is the best defense, however, there is no chance in the resulting position. Down the exchange, with poorly placed pieces and an exposed King.

I believe often GMs and top players will walk into complications that are ultimately worse to avoid finding themselves in an absolutely lost position by force. There is always the chance that your opponent will miss something in a complicated position.

A good recent example is Grischuk vs Gelfand from the FIDE Grand Prix this year in London.

Grischuk vs Gelfand, 2012

After 23. Bxe6 fxe6 (forced) Rxe6+ Gelfand has two choices. Bail into a dead lost end game (Kf7) which gives back the piece or take the piece and try to survive (Kd7) with his King exposed to Gelfand's heavy pieces. He chose the latter which your computer will tell you was the worse choice. But look at the position and Grischuk dances around on the white squares and pulls a net over Gelfand's King. He could have easily slipped given his weak back rank and the with the Black Bishop covering a key diagonal.

So Gelfand made an inferior move, but one that gave him a chance of winning versus a slow sure loss.

Dec-07-12  Robespierre: I'm traveling & I missed it completely.

Did anyone pursue the line starting with...

18. Nb5 ...

Depending upon the next move this threatens...

19. Nxc7+

Dec-08-12  Conrad93: CG might not be able to change the puzzle, but it should try finding better ones.

This puzzle is a waste of time.

That was my point. It seems I'm the only who can read between the text.

Dec-08-12  rilkefan: I expected the awkward 19...Rd6 20.Bf4, which turns out to be stockfish's main line, and at just +5 is +7 better than ...Kb8, if one is silly enough to care.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Conrad93> 19...Rd6 puts up more resistance than 19...Kb8 but it doesn't save black or ruin the POTD.

The point is that black can't bring enough defenders to the aid of the pinned Nc6. After either 20. Bb5 or 20. Bf4 white keeps adding more pressure.

These are not manufactured puzzles with clearly defined solutions. They are positions from real games. The players won't always find the best moves because they are fallible human beings with a limited amount of time to make their moves.

If 19...Rd6 had saved black, then I might agree with you that the puzzle is cooked. But I don't see that it does. If anything, it drags another piece into the firing line to help white force mass exchanges.

MFF (My Friend Fritzie) analyses 19...Rd6 20. Bb5 as +3.89, with 20. Bf4 (my pick in unassisted human mode) being a shade behind on +2.77. Seems fair enough to me.

Dec-08-12  Conrad93: Yes, I agree now. I'm still not wrong for analyzing with the 19...d6 line I guess.

I must have solved it.

Dec-08-12  rilkefan: Just for the record my above comment was not made in reference to anyone here, whether or not I'm ignoring him - I hadn't read any of the commentary when I posted.
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