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Shane Matthews vs Pradeep Seegolam
Chess Olympiad (2010), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 5, Sep-25
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (20?). Black is up a pawn. "Medium."

I think I have seen this position before, or one very like it. The move

20 Rxg7

jumped out at me pretty quickly. This recovers the pawn and threatens moves like 21 Qxh6, which would be unpleasant for black. But after


white plays

21 Qxh6+!

anyway. Black has two choice, neither good. After

21...Kxh6 22 Bxf6#

is mate. Or on

21...Kg8 22 Qh8+! Kxh8 23 Bxf6+ Kg8 24 Rh8#

is also mate.

Time to check and see how this went down.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rilkefan: Oof, I just looked at 20.Rg7 Kg7 21.Rg3 - wonder if that wins too.
Oct-28-10  goldfarbdj: Rxg7 jumped out at me too, but I didn't see dzechiel's latter line -- after 21. ... Kg8 I only looked at Bxf6, which is less artistic (even though I think it does win).
Oct-28-10  LIFE Master AJ: It took me at least five minutes, (after doing my checklist); and I finally found 20.RxP/g7! followed by 21.QxP/h6+!
Oct-28-10  estrick: Immediate queen sack doesn't quite do it. Next up, sack a rook?

Not accepting the rook sacrifice allows White's queen an uncontested invastion at h6, winning another pawn, with the promise of more material to come.

After 20 . . . kxg7, I wanted to sack the queen with 21. Qxh6, but for some reason couldn't visualize that 22. Bxf6# was indeed mate, because I was hallucinating that the Black knight could still interpose on h5, forgetting that it would no longer be on the board.

So, I analyzed several lines stemming from 21. Bxf6+, which I think still leads to mate, but takes longer.

Oct-28-10  Dupleix: What if 20. ... Ke8 ?
21. Qxh6 Nd7 and it seems Black can defend the f8 square
Oct-28-10  Quentinc: This was a puzzle either on Chess Video or Shredder Chess very recently. It wasn't noted as being an actual game though -- I was sure it was a fantasy position. It was fun to play the whole game out, to see how this was actually possible. Black's moves from 14 to 19 were rather comical.
Oct-28-10  mohannagappan: Rxg7 Kxg7 wins for white
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This was the LA Times puzzle from October 10th. The game position is on my forum page.

Black just shuffles his rook and king from move 13 on. Must have wanted to get out of there quickly.

Oct-28-10  apratimm: In the line:
20 Rxg7 Kxg7
21 Qxh6+! Kg8
I think
22 Rg3 also wins by force?

Black can interject with the bishop and knight for the next two moves and after that mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Thursday puzzle solution the demolition 20. Rxg7! gives White a winning attack on the helpless King position due to the mate threat 21...Kxh6 22. Bxf6#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  unferth: <Dupleix: What if 20. ... Ke8 ? 21. Qxh6 Nd7 and it seems Black can defend the f8 square>

20 ... Ke8 21 Qxh6 Nd7 21 Rxf7 is deadly, I think

Oct-28-10  Jamboree: Black's moves 14 - 19 are the worst six moves in a row I think I've ever seen! He moves back and forth not once but THREE times! After four moves he's back in the same position he started in four moves earlier, and then his fifth move after that is just a repeat of his already-retracted first move! And then he FINALLY deviates with the sixth and last move of the series --which walks face first into mate.

Meanwhile, white just silently improves his position for six straight moves until a mate falls into his lap.

Normally, one can only make two or at most three bad moves in a row before losing, but black may have broken a record for chess futility here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Beware the street theatre, my friends.

It was just a normal day, like any other. A grey day, a safe day, a going to work day. Nothing too exciting, nothing to fear. Or so I thought. I had left my home on g8 and was walking along the street to f8. It was a busy day and the streets were full of people, with pawns on g7 and h6.

In the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a troop of street performers. You know the sort - a rag taggle band of jugglers, acrobats, mimes and singers. There was a pair of rooks on g3 and h3, a bishop on h4, a queen on d2. An odd assortment of coves and ne'er-do-wells.

To be honest, I didn't pay them much attention. I'd seen it all before and anyway they were just begging for money. I kept my hands firmly in my pockets and carried on my way. I would lose myself in the anonymity of the crowd.

Then the strangest thing happened. One of the rooks, the Rg3 I think it was, declared: "And for our next trick, we need a volunteer from the audience. How about you, sir?"

And with a 20. Rxg7 Kxg7 he reached through the crowd of people and pulled me out.

Well! I had never experienced anything like it. Now I was on the edge of their performance and the whole street was looking at me. To be perfectly honest, I really wanted to get away. You see, I used to be quite shy and didn't like to be centre of attention.

Then it got worse. A large lady with a fearsomely proportioned bosom pulled me into the centre of the performance with 21. Qxh6+ Kxh6. Now the crowd seemed a long way away and it was just me and the artistes.

And to compound it all, the Bh4 starts doing that wretched mime thing where he pretends to be in an invisible box. You know what I mean, they hold their hands up in front of them as if they are trying to escape from a glass wall. It's funny the first time you see it, but you really hope they would find something else to act out.

Anyhow, this white bishop plays 22.Bxf6 and he is miming a glass wall along the g file. He covers g7 and g5 and another of the performers that I hadn't noticed, a pawn on f5, is covering g6.

And I realised that I was trapped inside the performance. No longer a spectator, I had become one of the performers. The rook juggling on h3, the mime artist bishop on f6, the hidden helper pawn on f5, they had all suckered me in and now I was one of them.

And that was the end of my old life. Finished, closed off, denied. There could be no going back to normality. The next time you are in a mall or high street and you see a band of street performers, take a closer look. Look past their silly antics and peer at their faces.

And you might see one of the performers whose smile seems a little bit too forced and whose eyes hold a wistfulness for a lost life. It would be a kindness if you could throw me a coin or two as you pass on your way.

But whatever you do, don't get too close. And never be the volunteer from the audience. It may be the last thing you ever volunteer for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Black's 14th-19th moves certainly make a bad impression, but rather than total randomness it looks to me like he just kept guessing wrong. Here's the position after <14.Rae1>

click for larger view

Now Black, who is after all not a bad player since he's rated over 2000, is trying to figure out what White is up to. Perhaps he decides that White is planning e5, and chooses <14...Rd8> to have his rook opposite White's queen. That's probably not a bad idea.

But White chooses <15.f5>, and Black begins to sweat. He starts to have visions of White playing fxe6/Bxf6/Rxf6/Qxh6, and doesn't like it. Finally, he decides maybe the rook should go back with <15...Rf8>, so that he can support f6 after 16.fxe6 fxe6.

White responds <16.Rf3>, and Black sees the possibility of 17.Rg3 and 18.Qxh6. That's easy enough to stop with <16...Kh8>, which is a normal kind of idea also.

But White crosses him up again with <17.Rh3>. Now the idea is 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Rxh6+ gxh6 20.Qxh6+ Kg8 21.Qxf6. That looks horrible too, so Black decides on <17...Kg8> so that 20.Qxh6 is not check and he can play 20...Bg7.

So White plays <18.Ree3> and Black decides it's time to abandon ship. But, as we've seen, it's too late.

Now, I'm not saying Black played it well. Obviously not, given the result. But I don't think he was playing at random just to lose quickly and hit whatever sort of hot spots they have in Khanty-Mansiyuk. There was probably method to his madness, though it was madness.

And you know something? I've seen an awful lot of players get into trouble because they would refuse to admit a mistake and retract a move. You've probably seen somebody play Nf3-g5, then after ...h6 retreat the knight to h3. They'd rather pretend they planned it all along rather than admit they had wasted time. Frankly, I think Mr. Seegolam was playing better than that.

Oct-28-10  Dr. J: <estrick: After 20 ... kxg7, 21. Bxf6+, I think still leads to mate, but takes longer.>

Not quite. After 20 ... Kg7 21 Bxf6+ Kf8 22 Qxh6+ Ke8 Black escapes immediate mate and maintains his material edge, although I expect that White's attack would still be strong enough to win. (Perhaps 23 Bxe7 Nxe7 or Kxe7 24 f6(+) and 25 Qg7?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Missed it. Distracted by 20. Bg5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I saw that after 20. Rxg7 black couldn't take the ♖ because of 21. Qxh6+, but I couldn't figure out how to win after, say, 20...Ne8. If 21. Bxe7+, then Kxe7. If 21. Qxh6, then 21...Bxh4.

So I turned to the game to learn how white finished -- only to find that black did take the ♖.

Oct-28-10  imreker: At first, I wanted to clear third rank to get the Black Queen with Rooks. But since it was impossible: attack the King! 20. Rxg7 looks clear cut in variation 20...Kxg7 21. Qxh6+ Kxh6 22. Bxf6# (not only mating move is a discovery, it also removes the defender that could hop to h5.). Yet, capturing the Rook is by no means forced, and in view of Kings' escape to d7, the mating attack does not look forced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn down.

White's heavy pieces and the DSB aim at the black castle which still keeps its pawn shield. This suggests breaking it with 20.Rxg7:

A) 20... Kxg7 21.Qxh6+ Kg8 (21... Kxh6 22.Bxf6#) 22.Qh8+ Kxh8 23.Bxf6+ Kg8 24.Rh8#.

B) 20... Ng8 21.Rxg8+ Kxg8 22.Qxh6

B.1) 22... Bxh4 23.f6 Bxf6 24.Rg3+ and mate next.

B.2) 22... f6 23.Rg3+ Kf7 24.Qg6+ Kf8 25.Qg8#.

B.3) 22... Ne5 23.Qh8+ Kxg8 24.Bf6+ Kg8 25.Rh8#.

C) 20... Ke8 21.Qxh6 Nd7 22.fxe6 + - (22... fxe6 23.Qg6+ Kf8 24.Qf7#).

D) 20... Ne5 21.Qxh6

D.1) 21... Neg4 22.Rg8+ Kxg8 23.Qh8+ Kxh8 24.Bxf6+ Kg8 25.Rh8#.

D.2) 21... Ke8 22.Bxf6 Ng4 23.Bxe7+ Kxe7 24.Rxf7+ Kxf7 (24... Ke8 25.Qf8#) 25.Qg6+ and mate in three.

E) 20... Nh5 21.Qxh6 Ke8 (21... Nxg7 22.Qh8#) 22.Qxh5 + -.

Oct-28-10  bonniekathosh: Spent a moment looking for a move that wins the cornered queen. Since the move doesn't exist, i shifted to analysing the numerous lines arising after Rxg7! All of them win for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: 20 Rxg7 ...

Black cannot accept 20 ... Kxg7 21 Qxh6+! Kxh6 (Kg8 Rg3+ mating) 22 Bxf6#

So what else can black do?

20 ... Nh5 21 Bxe7+ losing the knight

20 ... Ng8 21 Rxg8+ Kxg8 22 Qxh6 mating soon after

20 ... Ne8 21 Qxh6 Nxg7 22 Qh8#

Can he run? Nope!

20 ... Ke8 21 Qxh6 Nd7 (Qb2 22 Ne2 Qb1+ 23 Ng1) or (Kd7 22 Bxf6 Bxf6 23 Qxf6 winning the knight and probably much more) 22 Bxe7 Nxe7 23 f6

Time to check...

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is down a poisoned pawn, but with black's queen AWOL on the pawn-hunting mission, white has the expected lead in development and substantial force directed at the lightly defended king position. The slightly awkward-looking arrangement of rooks at g3 and h3 is clearly designed for one purpose, the destruction of the king's pawn shelter. So where do we hit the pawn structure?


That's right, at the base. The first move is telegraphed by the organization of white's force, but white's follow-up move might not be spotted easily by folks who haven't worked a lot of tactical problems.

A) 20... Kxg7? 21.Qxh6+! Kxh6 22.Bxf6#

A.1) 21...Kg8 22.Rg3+ Ng4 23.Rxg4+ Bg5 24.Rxg5#

Declining offers no prospects.

B) 20... Ng8 (not much better) 21.Rxg8+! Kxg8 22.Qxh6 Bxh4 23.Rxh4 f6 (exf5 24.Qh8#) 24.Qh8+ Kf7 25.Rh7#

C) 20... Ne5 21.Qxh6 and black can't defend both threats (22.Qh8+ forcing mate and 22.Bxf6).

D) 20... Ke8 22.Qxh6 Ng4 23.Qh5 and black can't defend the threats 24.Qxf7+ and 24.Qxg4.

D.1) 22... Nd7 23.fxe6 fxe6 (Bf8 24.exf7+ Ke7 25.Nd5#) 24.Qg6+ mates next.

E) 20... Nh5 21.Qxh6 Nxg7 22.Qh8#

Qb2 and Rd7 are also effectively met by 21.Qxh6, so a quick resignation can be expected.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Brandon plays: Uggh, I don't think I'm quite seeing the correct solution here. The problem is that it is not forcing enough and black has counter chances if white doesn't gets things moving. Rxg7 Kxg7 Bxf6 Kxf6 and I'm left with nothing it seems.
Premium Chessgames Member
  rodchuck: I love Once's stories - keep it up. I don't normally see things very quickly, but the the bishop f6 and rook on the h-file with the opposing king stuck in the corner jumped at me today - did my morale no end of a boost.
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