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Reynaldo Vera vs Julio Becerra Rivero
Capablanca Memorial-A (1996), Cienfuegos CUB, rd 5, May-??
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0


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Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy)

R Vera vs J Becerra-Rivero, 1996 (37.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N+P for B. The Black Kg8 is stalemated, and White has a forcing sequence.

Candidates (37.): Nh5

37.Nh5 (threatening 38.Qg7#)

38.gxh5 Rg1#

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Aorta blocking red path heart attack suffers in 37.Nh5. Pumping the horse around little like red rum sets up combination inn mixing usage rook g1 with queen check. White is in good spirits after 30.g4 Nf6 it tops off a nice Cuba Libre. In time going back rankled a 30..Bd5?
Jul-13-10  Marmot PFL: Much too easy
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Almost a no-brainer today. One always starts by looking at the opposing king position, where we see our queen sitting on f6, waiting for some assistance from the troops.

There are exactly two troops:

Troop #1 is a knight that happens to be ready to attack the mating g7 square via <37.Nh5>. It can (and must) be captured of course by <37...gxh5>, but this opens the g-file.

Troop #2 is a rook that happens to be ready to attack an open file, such as the newly opened g-file, again with mate in view: <38.Rg1#>.

Game over - quite easy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Two Mondays this week?

37 ♘h5-threatens mate,which can only be stopped by-gxh5 38 ♖g1#

Jul-13-10  SufferingBruin: <Once>
Jul-13-10  SufferingBruin: Adding, 31. Nf5+ is the move that blew me away. I tend to play too carefully anyway so moving a piece where it can be captured by not one but two pawns is... well, it gives one pause. :)
Jul-13-10  JG27Pyth: Everyone thought this was a piece of cake but me apparently... seemed like a good Tuesday to me. Got it, but not instantly.
Jul-13-10  TheaN: Tuesday 13 July 2010


Target: 1:25;000
Taken: 0:31;150

Material: White up, ♘+♙ vs ♗

Candidates: Qg7†, <[Nh5]>

It's rather surprising how White can be up a pawn here. There is no compensation for Black whatsoever, and the kill from White is imminent. First I looked at the most aggressive move otb, Qg7†, when I spotted the key move.

<37.Nh5> and Black can only postpone mate on g7. The capture:

<37....gxh5 38.Rg1‡ 1-0> is of course out of the question, not withstanding that Qd4 and Qd1† are more appealing. The first may postpone the longest but is a desperate measure, considering after 37....Qd4 38.Qxd4, the Knight is still immune. In fact, after 38....f6 39.Qc4† Kh8 40.Qc7 it's over. Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <SufferingBruin> Thanks for the link & glad you enjoyed it today's ramble.

I certainly agree that 31. Nf5+ is an excellent move. Here is the position just before white played it:

click for larger view

How can we spot 31. Nf5+ from here?

I think a lot has to do with the questions we ask ourselves when we analyse a position.

If we ask the question: "What move should I play here?", our minds will often give us a list of safe-looking moves. We will usually subconsciously filter out any moves which instinctively look wrong or unsafe.

But suppose we did manage to list 31. Nf5+ in our first scan. What question do we ask then? Most folk ask the question "does this work?" And that is okay as questions go, but it is all too easy to take fright at the fact that f5 is twice defended.

Instead of "what should I play?" and "does move X work?", we probably ought to substitute three more powerful questions:

"What do I want to achieve?"

"Which moves achieve what I want?"

And for each of the moves in our candidate list - "How can I make move X work?"

From the diagram, white would really like to shift the black king out of the way so that he can play Qxf6. That answers our first question, at least as an initial hypothesis.

Then our second question leads us to the seemingly impossible 31. Nf5+ as the only move which shifts the Kg7.

Finally our third question makes us persist with 31. Nf5+ instead of giving it a cursory once-over and reject it. There are three variations to consider - king moves is followed by Qxf6; exf5 allows Qxf6 (as in the game) and gxf5 gives us Qg5+ and Qxf6.

It's all about asking the right questions!

<kramputz> You are entitled to your opinion of course. Not everyone will like the stuff I write. So feel free to use the ignore button. I won't be in the least bit offended.

That's it for me for a while. I'm off to catch a ferry for ten days of holiday in France. Have fun, folks, and I'll catch up again around 23 July.

Jul-13-10  ZUGZWANG67: Only one candidate: 37.Nh5.

37...Qd4 38.Qxd4;
37...gxh5 38.Rg1+ mate.

Otherwise nothing can prevent 38.Qg7+ mate.

Jul-13-10  Ferro: Nh5! 2 minutes
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Tuesday puzzle solution, 37. Nh5! is a sham deflection sacrifice which creates a decisive mate threat.

As <ZUGZWANG67> observes, the futile 37...Qd5 38. Qxd4 is about all that keeps this from being a mate-in-two.

Jul-13-10  jfshade: Thanks <twice> <once>:

First for the dramatization, and second for the insight on 31. Nf5+. I found the puzzle easy to solve, but when I played through the game, my reaction to 31. Nf5+ was similar to <Suffering Bruin>'s: how do I "see" a move like that during a game?

Have a great holiday!

Jul-13-10  lost in space: aaaahhhhh,

a Tuesday. Love it. Sometime even more than a Monday.

37. Nh5! and Black has no defence.

37...gxh5 38. Rg1#

and after all other moves: 38. Qg7#

Nice, easy and sweet

Jul-13-10  Patriot: <Once>

Thanks again for an interesting storyline and also your insight about asking the right questions.

To see a move like 31.Nf5+, I use the "check, capture, and threat" method for considering candidate moves. But for a move like that to remain on my candidate list I do a "safety test" to determine if the move is safe. If the piece can be captured without a following "check, capture, or threat" then the move is likely unsafe and time shouldn't be wasted analyzing it. As you pointed out, the critical variations stemming from 31...gxf5 and 31...exf5 suggest it is safe and therefore worth considering.

For those that don't think they can spot moves like 31.Nf5+ during a game: All it takes is a good thought process to correct this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it
Jul-13-10  muralman: I am getting better at not shooting from the hip. Giving the whole board attention makes puzzles much easier and sure.
Jul-13-10  wals:

Black deviated from the straight and narrow with:-

29...Kg7, +2.32. Better =

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (0.76): 29...Rc5 30.e5 Qb5 31.Nd4 Qb8 32.Ng4 Bd5 33.Nh6+ Kg7 34.Qg5 Bc4 35.Qe3 Ng3+

2. (0.84): 29...Qb5 30.R6d3 Qe5 31.Rxb3 f5 32.Qg5 Qg7 33.exf5 exf5 34.Nf4 Nxf4 35.Qxf4 Qc7 36.Qxc7 Rxc7 37.Rbd3

3. (0.85): 29...Qa7 30.Ng4 Qe7 31.Qxe7 Rxe7 32.Nd4 f5 33.exf5 exf5 34.Nh6+ Kh8 35.Rxa6 Nf4 36.Kh2 Bd5 37.Rd6 Bc4 38.Rd2 Rb7 39.Kg3

4. (0.85): 29...Rc6 30.R6d3 Rc5 31.Nd4 Qf4 32.Qe1 Ng3+ 33.Kg1 Rc7 34.Nxb3 Bc6 35.Nd4 Ba4

5. (0.89): 29...Qc7 30.e5 Bc6 31.Ng4 Qe7 32.Qxe7 Rxe7 33.Nd4 Rec7 34.Kg1.

Went on to disintegrate with:-
33...Qb5 +13.49.

and did you hear the one about the chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

Jul-13-10  Nullifidian: 37. ♘h5 and it's lights out. This took me just a second to find the key move, but a little while longer to work out all the continuations.

37... gxh5 loses to 38. ♖g1#, so the move that keeps up the struggle longest is 37... ♕d4 38. ♕xd4 ♙f6 39. ♕d7 (Δ ♕g7#). Now Black has two options:

39... ♖f7 40. ♖c8+ ♖f8▢ 41. ♕g7#


39... ♙gxh5 40. ♖g1+ ♔h8▢ 41. ♕g7#

Jul-13-10  xequemate: 37. Nh5 forces black to capture the knight but don΄t avoid the mate of white rook on 38. Rg1#

But another possible sequence is
37) Ne6 (threates 38. Qg7# too),

if black plays 37. ... Qxe6, 38. fxe6 gaining the black queen.

if black plays 37. ... fxe6, 38. fxe6 Rxf6 39. exd7 Rd6 or Rf8, 40. Rc8 and white promotes the pawn in next movie.

Jul-13-10  EyesofBlue: I agree with the general sentiment... today's was easier than yesterday.

Fix those damn stars,!


Jul-13-10  Brandon plays: Nh5 seems to do the trick.
Jul-13-10  Brandon plays: The interesting thing is that black played 35... Rc1. On the surface this seems fairly clever but of course then it runs into the Nh5 problem which completely destroys it. A good lesson in becoming too focused on one plan to the exclusion of all else.
Jul-13-10  beginner64: Please add me to the list of people who found the puzzle too easy but are mesmerized by 31. Nf5+.

Thanks to once, twice and 3 times, I think I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

@kevin86: No, we don't have two Mondays this week. We had a Tuesday yesterday.

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