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Miguel Illescas Cordoba vs Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez
Seville (1992), rd 5
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. General (B30)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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find similar games 4 more Illescas Cordoba/J M Bellon Lopez games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (23?). Material even. "Medium/Easy."

I looks to me like white picks up an exchange and a pawn with

23 Be6

On the rook, which has nowhere to run.

23...fxe6 24 fxe6 Rdd8 25 Bxd8 Rxd8 26 Rxf6

and black is down an exchange and a pawn. Other moves at 23 are worse:

23...Rdd8 24 Bxd8 Rxd8 25 fxg6

On the black bishop and winning the black f-pawn. Time to check.

Oct-13-10  Formula7: White wins the exchange with 23.Be6 fxe6 24.fxe6 Rdd8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Rxf6. Time to check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The loose bishop on f6 catches the eye, and 23.fxg6 attacking it was a first thought, especially since 23...fxg6 protecting the bishop is illegal due to the pin. However, 23...Nxd5 relieves the pin and solves that problem.

Then I saw the awkwardness of the rook on d7, and thought about 23.Be6 fxe6 24.fxe6. Black can't get two pieces for the rook with 24...Rd8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 as the Bf6 is loose again and drops off after 26.Rxf6.

A pretty line, with a little reversal on the idea, is 24...Nc8 25.exd7 Nxb6 26.Rxf6! overloading Black's remaining rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: 23. Be6! fxe6 24. fxe6 Rd8 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Rxf6 1:0

or 23. Be6! Nc8 24. Bxd7 Nxb6 25. fxg6 Nxd7 26. Rxd6 and again 1:0

Oct-13-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has the bishop pair against bishop+knight in an open position. White also has active rooks on semi-open files, while black's rooks are very passive. White might try to cash in by uncovering on the loose bishop with 23.fe, but after 23... Nxd5 24.gxf7+ Rxf7 25.Rxd5, white has only won a pawn at the price of giving up the bishop pair. The trapped position of the Rd7 suggests that there is more material to be had in this position:

23.Be6! wins at least an exchange with an easily won endgame.

A) 23... fxe6 24.fxe6 R7d8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Rxf6

B) 23... B7d8 24.Bxd8 Rxd8 25.fxg6 fxe6 26.Rxf6 and the black position is demolished either way.

I would guess that black resigned immediately.

Oct-13-10  Brandon plays: Bah. I actually saw Be6 but then I rejected it even though I saw all the way up to the position with the white rook on f6. I've just been playing bad chess lately.

I thought that a better move would be Bb3 with the idea of Ba5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I saw the good move (fxg6) easily, but finding the better move took a bit of time. Lasker was right, as usual--when you see a good move, don't play it. Look for a better one.
Oct-13-10  LIFE Master AJ: 23.Be6! (See dzechiel's post for good analysis.)
Oct-13-10  AGOJ: Because this is a puzzle, I stopped to consider a move other than 23.fxg6, but if in a live game I doubt that I would think twice before taking 23.fxg6. Then again, maybe I would, but the point is that I don't treat every single position as if it were a puzzle, and so I probably miss many opportunities. And this one is not even particularly hard. Illescas probably saw it from miles away. (I'm sure there's a good pun with Tony Miles' name here.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: This is a lot less interesting than the game continuation, but I doubt White will have much trouble winning after 23. fg Nxd5 24. gf+ Kxf7 25. Rxd5+. White is a pawn up with an outside passed pawn and a much better bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got the same as the text through 24...Nxb6.

click for larger view

Here, the bishop looked trapped so I played 25 Rxd6, below.

click for larger view

I missed 25 fxg6, but I think 25 Rxd6 is OK.

Oct-13-10  wladimirsky: White to play. 23. ?

Material is equal but White has the much more active pieces. Rooks attack semi-open files. The f-Rook is particularly dangerous, threatening the Bishop through an X-ray. The Bd5 is magnificently placed. The Bb6 is not attacking anything at the moment, but seems active. On the contrary, Blacks pieces are inactive. Rooks lack space, Bf6 is inactive. N appears to be a decent defender.

So I first looked at 23.fg6 which of course nets at least a pawn, e.g., 23.fg6 Nd5, Rf7, 25.Rd5. But we should look for more.

Then I looked at 23.Bf7, but that does not work.

Only then I found the winning 23.Be6!

Now 23...fe, 24.fe and Black looses the rook for the bishop, plus the position opens up for the White rooks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: In the game line, I would have played 25. Rxd6. After 25...Be7, 26. Rxb6 loses the exchange to 26...Bc5+, but I think I would have seen that and played 26. Rd3.
Oct-13-10  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"- White to play 23.?
Materials considered even, White has a Bishop for a Knight. At first, I followed 23.fxg6 line but did not achieve any end results until Be6 move striked me and followed it and is recorded as below:

23.Be6 fxe6
24.fxe6 attacking the Rook on d7 which has only dark squares to escape to and will be hunted by DSB 24........Rd8
25.Bxd8 Rxd8
26.Rxf6 Rf8
27.Rxf8+ Kxf8
28.Rxd6 Nc6
By this move, Black King is confined to the 8th row and can not approach centre and the scattered pawns.In the meantime, White King approaches the centre and the g pawn. Not going into details, I have no doubt that White wins

Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Illescas-Cordoba vs J M Bellon Lopez, 1992 White 23?

23 Be6 collects the exchange after 23 fxe6 fxe6. If 23 Rdd8 fxg6. Time to check:
Not very good - I missed Black's strongest defence. An example of "luck in chess": I have two pieces en prise due to Black's unforesen reply 23 Nc8! but can still win.

Crafty End Game Trainer link to the puzzle position:

click for larger view

Illescas-Cordoba vs J M Bellon Lopez 1992, 23?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Arnold Schwarzennegger can't dance.

Okay, so he did theoretically "tango" twice in True Lies. But in reality he just walked up and down a bit while his female leads draped themselves sensuously around him. John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever he most certainly was not.

And it's not just the Austrian Oak who has two left feet. Sly Stallone has trouble talking straight, so never expect him to bust a move on the dance floor. Steven (I'm just a cook) Seagal simply points his suit at the bad guys.

And it has to be said that your humble scribe can happily write you a poem, give a speech, recite Shakespeare, tell a joke, but please please don't ever ask me to do the "D" word.

And it's the same with rooks. The big guys just can't do diagonals. You can imagine a rook standing in the corner of the chessboard, all muscles, stonework and hulking power, and he will be huffing and grumbling about those fancy-pants bishops with their oh-so-dainty diagonals.

I suppose that's the truth of the world - the bouncers stay on the outside of the night club. "I don't care if you do know the DJ, you're not coming in..."

With 23. Be6, white drags the Rd7 onto the dance floor and makes him look like a fool. The white bishop pair and a pawn literally dance rings around the poor hulking brute. The rook has nowhere to go. And of course, 23...fxe6 24. fxe6 keeps the diagonal threat going.

But black has a cunning plan. He can't fight the white bishops and pawn with the raw strength of his rooks, but his knight is much more nimble. Think Patrick Swayze as both snake-hipped jivester in Dirty Dancing (the first time around) and rough tough Dalton the cooler in Road House.

So with 23...Nc8 24. Bxd7 Nxb6, black sets up this position:

click for larger view

And the fancy-pants dancing bishop has no safe square to run to. Has the prancing prelate been outfoxed by a ninja knight?

Nope. After 25. fxg6 Nxd7 25. Rxd6 we get to here:

click for larger view

And the white rooks jump onto the dance floor and grab the black pieces by the throat. "Now that's what I call dancing..."

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 23... Nxf5.

The rook on d7 doesn't have free squares. Therefore, 23.Be6:

A) 23... fxe6 24.fxe6

A.1) 24... Rdd8 25.Bxd8

A.1.a) 25... Rxd8 26.Rxf6 + - [R+P vs N], Black cannot trap the rook on f6 with 26... Nf5.

A.1.b) 25... Kg7 26.Rxd6 + - [R+2P vs N].

A.1.c) 25... Nf5 26.Bxf6 Rxf6 27.g4 Ne3 28.Rxf6 Nxd1 29.e7 wins.

A.2) 24... Nc8 25.exd7 Nxb6 26.Rxd6 Bd8 (or 26... Nxd7 27.Rxd7 + - [R+P vs B]) 27.Rxg6+ Kh7 28.Rxf8 Kxg6 29.Rxd8 Kf7 30.Rf8+ Kxf8 31.d8=Q+ and 32.Qxb6, winning.

B) 23... Rdd8 24.Bxd8 Rxd8 (24... fxe6 transposes to A.1) 25.fxg6

B.1) 25... fxe6 26.Rxf6 Nc8 (26... Rg7 27.Rf7+ and 28.Rxe7) 27.Rf7 (probably better that 27.Rxe6) b5 28.Rdf1 followed by g7 and Rf8+, winning.

B.2) 25... Nxg6 26.Rxf6 fxe6 27.Rxg6+ Kf7 28.Rg4 + - [R].

C) 23... Rfd8 24.Bxd7 Rxd7 25.fxg6 Kg7 26.gxf7 Kxf7 27.g4 Ke6 28.Bf2 followed by h4 with a won ending.

D) 23... Nc8 24.Bxd7 Nxb6 25.Rxd6 Nxd7 26.Rxd7 b5 27.fxg6 fxg6 28.Ra7 + - [R+P vs B].

Oct-13-10  Sularus: for two stars, i thought pxp was the solution. =(
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Illescas-Cordoba vs J M Bellon Lopez, 1992

White to play (23.?) "Medium/Easy"

I got this in a little under a minute.

23. Be6! fxe6

Or 23...Nc8 24. Bxd7 Nxb6 25. fxg6! Nxd7 26. Rxd6 Rd8 27. Rxf6.

24. fxe6 Rdd8 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Rxf6.

White is up an exchange and pawn, for an easy win.

Oct-13-10  swr: 23. Be6! fxe6 24. fxe6 wins the rook, this should be it.
Oct-13-10  LIFE Master AJ: <Once> Funny, as usual. Really good stuff.
Oct-13-10  LIFE Master AJ:

I won - on my very first try ... (this has not happened in a while!).

The position after 40 moves:

click for larger view


I did not play to mate, even I could not blow this one ...

This is a really good exercise. If you are serious about improving, you need to do this kind of training.

WARNING! Some days the computer's resistance is so strong, it will be next to impossible to win. You will fuss and cuss ... and pull out all of your hair. (I am completely bald now.)

Oct-13-10  shonetu: Jimfromprovidence - 25 Rxd6 is bad, 25...Be7, if 26 Rxb6 26...Bc5+!!!
Oct-13-10  dakgootje: I really have to improve my endgame technique..

From the position of David2009's crafty endgame-link it took me 55 moves to win against aforementioned crafty.. >.<

Oct-13-10  JG27Pyth: Reti? Just because of 1.Nf3? Come on CG, a little more sophistication in the ECO identification algorithm please... 1...c5 2.e4 transposes to a Sicilian right away.
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