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Tiger Hillarp Persson vs Fernando Peralta
Chess Olympiad (2010), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 7, Sep-28
Indian Game: Anti-Nimzo-Indian (E10)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-28-10  ConLaMismaMano: Horrible game by Peralta. He loses the bishop on d7 with no compensation.

Possible continuation: 19...Qxa4 20.Ra1 Qb5 21.Ra5 and it's over.

Oct-30-10  notyetagm: Hillarp Persson (2517) - Peralta
(2572) Ol Khanty-Mansiysk (7), 2010

8r+l trk+0{
6-wq p +0
5 zP- 0
4- +0
3zP-wQ- zP-0
2-zP- zPLzP0
1+RvLR mK-0

Black is worse, but he could fight for
equality by playing 16...c5, 16...c5
or 16...c6. Instead he created a
weakness by playing the pseudoactive


This move turns the
Catalan bishop into a monster.

17.e3 b5 18.bc1

Black had probably seen all of this
when he played 16...c5?, but he
obviously counted on his next move:

18...d7?? 19.a4!

Here comes the refutation - as after
19...xa4 20.a1 b5 21.a5 Black
loses the d7-bishop, he resigned. 10

Oct-30-10  notyetagm: Game Collection: THE UNDERRATED REMOVAL OF THE GUARD -- Heisman
Nov-04-10  weary willy: Another position where a big sign hangs over the board saying "There IS a winning move here". Once I know that, 19.a4 is relatively easy to find. I just need the sign-writer.
Nov-04-10  rilkefan: 19.a4 appears to pick up the d7 bishop after ... Qa4 20.Ra1 and Ra5. This is more like a Monday or Tuesday, I guess to balance yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 came to mind.
Nov-04-10  rilkefan: "E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 came to mind."

I see Chessgames has that game, which contains one of the most spectacular and instructive combos I know, labelled "Probably analysis", which is a bummer.

Nov-04-10  azax: Thursday puzzle. "Medium."

Material: White is down a pawn, but his army looks far more co-ordinated.

All of his pieces are pointing at the queenside, yelling "Hey! We're going to win material on this wing, have fun trying to do something!" Black, on the other hand, has two pathetic pawns sitting on his d7 and e7 squares, his rooks are almost completely undeveloped, and his queen looks lost on b5. White definitely has the advantage.

Nothing immediately jumps out, so let's look at Silman's rules of combination.

1. Undefended pieces

We've got a Be7 that fits this requirement.

2. Underdefended pieces

Black's Bd7 is attacked and defended once each. If the Qb5 can be made to move off its protective diagonal (which is already very small), the bishop can be won.

3. Weakened King

Black's King is perfectly safe, and none of White's forces point onto that sector of the board anyway. Barring a terrible bishop sac on h6, white has no play on the King.

Since the Be7 is out of reach, chasing the queen is our main goal. What moves accomplish this?

19. a4! Qxa4

Obviously Black's only move.

20. Ra1 Qb5

Again staying on the diagonal.

21. Ra5 Qb6 22. Rxd7

And Black is down a point in material. White has now plucked off the pathetic twig on d7, but more importantly, his position's as stellar as ever. All of his pieces are still incredibly active and poised for further strikes on the queenside (the c6 pawn will soon fall). Black's position is the same as before, minus a bishop which could potentially find life.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (19?). Black is up a pawn. "Medium."

Took me long enough! I became convinced quickly that the rook attacking the bishop on d7 was key to the solution, but after a little while of being unable to see the combination through, I started looking a strange stuff (like 19 Bxc5, and even stranger).

Still not having any luck, I was drawn back to the open d-file, and this time I saw the whole combination. It's really simple and straightforward, once you see it.

Start with

19 a4

The black queen is the only defender to the black bishop on a7. If we can attack the queen in such a manner that she must abandon protection of the bishop, then we can win a piece.

This last move is forcing, in that it attacks the queen and leaves only one move for black that continues to protect the bishop.


Well, I suppose if you only have one good move, it's nice that you get to pick up a pawn.

20 Ra1

On the queen. And, again, the black queen has only one move that maintains protection of the bishop.


But now...

21 Ra5

On the queen once again. And this time the queen has no square to run to that will also allow her to protect the bishop. After, say...

21 Qb6 Rxd7

and white has a bishop for this two pawns, PLUS he's now attacking the remaining bishop (on e7) and threatens 22 Rxb7, so white will only have given up one pawn for the bishop.

This has to be it. Time to check and see when black resigned.

Nov-04-10  OBIT: <Weary Willy>LOL, yeah, I could use a sign-writer also. If this position came up OTB, I'm sure I'd be playing 19. Be4, confidently thinking my winning plan starts by loosening Black's pawns in front of his king. So, I'd be thinking, play Be4 and Qc2 to force ...h6 or ...g6. Then, for Phase 2, I start a mating attack on the castled king. White's position may already be good enough to where this would actually work, but 19. a4 is *so* much easier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: immediately. (After all, is two ♙s for a ♗ really that terrible?) After 19. a4 Qxa4 20. Ra1 Qb5 21. Ra5 Qb6 22. Rxd7, white has a double threat: 23. Rxe7 and 23. Rxb7, winning the ♕. So black has to play 22...Rfe8, and after 23. Rxb7 Qd8 24. Rxa7 Rxa7 25. Rxa7, he's a full piece down with a lousy position and another ♙ about to fall.
Nov-04-10  mohannagappan: 19.a4 Qxa4 20.Ra1 Qb5 21. Ra5 Qb6 22.Rxd7 winning line for white
Nov-04-10  Eduardo Leon: After 19.a4 ♕xa4 20.♖a1 ♕b5 21.♖a5, white wins at least the d7 bishop.


Black's management of the opening was awful.

He played 4...♗b4+ expecting 5.♗d2, but white played 5.♘c3, correctly judging that black would gain nothing from creating doubled pawns in his position (5...♗xc3+). The doubled pawn would disappear after ...dxc4 anyway, and the new c3 pawn would have better supported white's center.

It is also hard to understand why black did not play 15...c6, blocking the long diagonal and planning to reorganize his forces in the queenside (16...♕c7/d8, 17...b6, 18...♗b7, etc.). Instead, black went for 15...♘xc3, which helped white assert the power of his king's bishop.

Taking all of this into consideration, it is not surprising that white was already better before the blunder 18...♗d7, despite being a pawn down.

Nov-04-10  tacticalmonster: 1) d7 bishop is insufficient defended

candidate: 19 a4 deflect the BQ from the a4-e8 diagonal

a) 19...Qxa4 20 Ra1 Qb5 21 Ra5 the bishop is dropping

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Hmmm, deep, deep stuff today. Let's follow the white rabbit ...

The puzzle solution is simple enough. The only defender of the Black Bd7 is the black queen. If we can kick her away from the diagonal leading to d7, then we can win the bishop. And as everyone has pointed out, 19. a4 Qxa4 20. Ra1 Qb5 21. Ra5 does the trick.

So on one level of the matrix, white wins by a removal of the guard tactic. Good play by white. And if you would like, that is all you need to know. "You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe."

But there would be no adventure if we stopped there. So let's look a little deeper. And we find that black blundered one move earlier with 18...Bd7. This is an attempt to activate the bishop, but it relies on the black queen being able to defend it. Bad decision by black.

Ready to go a little deeper? So now we need to ask ourselves why black made this poor decision. Here is the position before 18...Bd7

click for larger view

And we find that black is struggling for a good move. Although he is a pawn up, his pieces are all constrained. In particular, his Bc8 cannot find a way into the game, either via d7 or the fianchetto starting with b6. And the reason that black is struggling is the strong positioning of white's pieces. Every white piece is doing something useful. His rooks have open or half open files to work with. His bishops command open or half diagonals. His queen is aggressively posted.

So our conclusion shifts again, and now we think that this is good positional play by white to put black under pressure and encourage him to make a mistake.

Does the hole go any deeper? I think it does. Rewind a few moves to this position, with black to play:

click for larger view

Now black could have, and probably should have, consolidated with 15...c6 when he has a perfectly good position. Instead he embarks on a faulty plan with Nxc3, c5 and Bd7. So we are back to a conclusion of poor play by black?

Perhaps, but let's look at why black plays for c5 and Bd7. In this opening, as in so many closed d pawn openings, black is worried about at least two things. First he is worried about his Bc8. In order to support d5, black nearly always has to play e6. And that blocks in the Bc8. Getting this bishop rolling is one of black's key objectives in closed or semi closed games. And that is why, I think, black plays for Bd7 intending Bc6 to free the bishop and oppose white fianchettoed Bg2.

The second thing that black fears is white's minority attack. This is when the two white a and b pawns terrorise the three black a, b and c pawns. So black thinks to stop all this by playing a swift c5 to grab some space on the queenside.

Why does black do all of this, when white seems untroubled? I think this brings us to the lowest level of today's rabbit hole. Moving first gives white a small advantage, because he can force black to make concessions. The move e6 is one such concession, as it then gives black the headache of how to liberate the Bc8. If black can do this successfully, he may equalise. If he cannot, then he will enter a more difficult position where he is more likely to make a mistake which an alert white player might seize upon.

And in today's puzzle, black failed to solve this basic problem. White did nothing fancy except to post his pieces well and trust that something good would happen. But sometimes luck happens to those who put themselves in a position to be lucky.

"You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes..."

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn down.

The black queen protects the LSB. Therefore, divert her with 19.a4 Qxa4 (otherwise 20.Rxd7) 20.Ra1 Qb5 21.Ra5 and Black's LSB is lost.

Nov-04-10  imreker: Ah, I forgot that after 19. a4, the Queen can't move to c6. Probably long pondering over 19. Bf1 made me think c6 square is safe, so I kept thinking like 19. a4 was simply not working...

Bad day for me. Even worse, because I gave up despite seeing the right move.

Nov-04-10  Stormbringer: To me this looks a lot like the Monday puzzle, which I didn't get. I didn't get this one either, so obviously I didn't learn the lesson well enough! Bother.
Nov-04-10  gofer: The major weakness for black is Bd7, attacked by Rd1 and only protected by Qb5. The other issue is that if black allows Rxd7 then things are looking grim for black as white will have a huge outpost on the 7th rank and can start by taking pawns b7/a7 and then double the rooks! So lets make the queen leave the a4-e8 diagonal.

19 a4 Qxa4
20 Ra1 Qb5
21 Ra5 Qb4/Qb6
22 Rxd7 ...

Time for black to resign and me to check...

Nov-04-10  zb2cr: Half asleep, and I missed this one. Black played like he was asleep.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Thursday puzzle solution, 19. a4! initiates a deflection combination to remove the guard or protection of the Queen and wins decisive material.
Nov-04-10  Marmot PFL: One of the easier puzzles. Driving the queen from guarding Bd7 is simple.
Nov-04-10  Oxnard: 19. a4! deflects the bishop's only defender and after ...Qxa4 20. Ra1 Qb5 21. Ra5, the black queen is forced off the a4-e8 diagonal and the bishop is up for grabs: Rxd7
Nov-04-10  Patriot: I may have spent 1 minute just looking over the position and seeing what kinds of forcing moves I have. The first thing was to look at the kingside but white's pieces are not coordinated enough to do anything there. After quickly ruling out other ideas, I turned to the IGP on d7.

19.a4 Qxa4 20.Ra1 Qb5 21.Ra5 looks simple enough. Black doesn't seem to have any counterplay.

It took me about 1 minute to see the combination. Is this too long? Could be. Perhaps pattern recognition should have triggered the idea instantly and only after that, go over the position to see if there is anything better. Sure...I solved it but this is a subtle yet important distinction. After all, IGP's are very common.

Nov-04-10  YCP: Well that's 3/4 this week for now. Couldn't see this one. I saw the bishop hanging but not a way to exploit it.

My idea was something like Bxc5 Bxc5 Qxc5 Qxb2 Rb1 Qa2 Rxb7.... Equalizing the material.

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