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Gennadi Kuzmin vs Vladimir Akopian
Rostov (1993)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sfm> Better than 25. f3? is 25. Bc3, when White might hold, as for example, after 25. Bc3 Bd7 26. f3 Ne3 27. Qf2 Bg5 28. Bd2 Bxb5 29. Bxb5 Qa1+ 30. Qe1 Qxe1+ 31. Nxc2 Ba5 the active White Bishop pair somewhat compensates for the pawn deficit.

Earlier, 24. Re1 =, to prepare f3, would have improved, as trading off the Rook was not a good idea. Also, maybe 13. Be2 =, to prepare Bh6, was worth considering.

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: After lots of thought found Bg5 as the way to go, but admittedly was not able to work out properly all the variations to prove the whole idea worked. In a real game without the knowledge that there was definitely something there, I doubt I would have even considered the possibility.
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: G Kuzmin vs Akopian, 1993 Black 25...? Missed it completely: what a stunning shot!

Here's the position just before White plays 25.f3

click for larger view

set up on Crafty End Game Trainer: You are white, drag and drop the move you want to make. Don't be too despondent if you fail to save the game!

One possible variation (computer assisted): 25.f3 Bg5 26.fxg4 Bxd2 (so far as per game) 27.Kf2! (suggested by many kibitzers) Qa5!? (the EGT's choice: others suggest Qa1) 28.Qf3 Be1+ 29.Kg1 Bb4 30.g3 Qb6+ 31.Kf1 Bd7 32.c4 h5! 33.h3! (if gxh5 Bh3+ 34 Ke2 Qg1 etc) hxg4 34.hxg4 Bc5 to reach

click for larger view

and White is clinging on.

If you want to play the puzzle position colours-reversed against the EGT, the link is: which I used to find the White moves given earlier.

Playing the ending out (EGT vs EGT), Queens eventually come off after which Black wins the c4 Pawn, but White establishes a N on d5 in exchange and the two robots agree a draw by repetition. Here's a final link to the second diagram to practice drawing as White.

In conclusion: nice puzzle!

Mar-27-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman>...<...But isn't it rather naive of you. If yours were to be the solution, then what business does this have in being a Sunday puzzle?...> Good question, but I was recalling a puzzle a few days back when black dropped a knight on <e3> en-prise and thought, here we go again. It would've been better if it had actually threatened something...

<I know you are capable of much better...> Thanks again. Its good to see you take a keen interest in chess and I think you've shown a real, focused insight. One think I've learned over the years from Chi-Gong and Golf is it takes a lot of work for a little improvement. For example, with Chi-Gong I had immediate results for 4-months from Nov 2009 - Feb 2010, then "plateaued". Instead of getting frustrated, I continued the exercises and presto, in August 2010 I experienced a definite health improvement. This opened my eyes. I kept at it and again, this past January, I moved up another notch: Legs stronger, arms stronger, balance better. So, while we think we may not be improving, we actually are, we just may not be aware of it.

And so it is with chess. In trying to re-learn, or improve ones insight, one must expect barren times or "plateaus". I feel I had been moving up and then it stopped. Now is not the time to get frustrated, but to keep going, for "plateaus" will recede and we'll be in motion again.

But you are right, well-timed breaks are necessary, especially in chess. Best, :) Morf

Mar-27-11  sevenseaman: Thanks <morf>. You are a sport.

I do not have the foggiest about <Chi-Gong> but in <Golf> a frustratingly slow progress after the initial euphoria is well-known. Persistence is the key, else you can't 'shoot a Golf'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <sfm: <Phony Benoni, JG27Pyth> Against 27.Kf2,Qa1 28.Kf3,

click for larger view

Black has 28.-,Qd1+! 29.Be2,Qg1 and it's over (30.Qf2,Bxg4+ 31.Kg3,Bf4+) The reason for 28.-,Qd1+ first is, that if Black plays 28.-,Qd1, White can tease with 29.Ke2>

Definitely neater and cleaner than the line I found (28...Be1 29.Qh3 h5 30.Qxh5 Qc1 31.g3 Qd2 32.Be2 Bc4).

Once Black wins White's dark-squared bishop for his knight it's amazing how much play he gets on the dark squares. Reminds me a bit of the immortal game Alekhine vs Yates, 1923

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I tried 26 h4?! after 25...Bg5, attacking two black pieces while trying to give the king an escape square.

click for larger view

Black still wins nicely after 26...Bxd2 fxg4 Qa1+ 28 Bf1 Bc4!, using a skewer/pin to win the knight.

click for larger view

Mar-27-11  cyclon: <sfm:> In the faulty 28.Kf3? line your move 28.-Qd1+! is great and clearly better than my 28.-Qg1 because of the 29.Ke2 that prolongs. But as I mentioned EARLIER, correct move for White is 28.Ke2 unless someone shows something better. It's because of THAT King-move I prefer (after 27.Kf2) 27.-Qc8 still. [Note the move NUMBERS to avoid confusion with the variations]
Mar-27-11  BOSTER: White have no any plan,and jumping Bh6-Bd2-Bh6-Bd2 you can not win the game. Usually it is very useful to move the pawns in direction which show by the bishop (move f4). Move 25...Bg5 is very easy to find.
After 25...Bg5 26.fxg4 Bxd2 27.Qf2 Bb4 28.Qf1 Bxg4 white could continue to play.But after 27 .Kf2 game is lost.
Mar-27-11  TuxedoKnight: hello guys, i just revamped my chess web site! i think it looks awesome (i hope)

it took me about 8 hours to make that web template, maybe one day will be for sale...

however, My chess web site have a couple of puzzles, make sure to check them out after you are done with this one!

kind regards,

Mar-27-11  stst: The main clue lies in e1, which is guarded by both B and Q. Slightly secondary is f2 eyed by the Bk N. Therefore, have to weaken this defense for Bk Q to be a real threat, hence the sac 25...Bg5 26.BxB obviously leads to Qa1#, hence 26. PxN is natural, but then W greatly weakens itself as 26...BxB, and WK is trapped.. doesn't matter whether BxP (g4) as sooner or later, Bk Qa1+ and WK ends up at f3 while BkQ chases to e3#

A less attended fun line for Bk is to observe that the WQ is actually in a somewhat "trapped" position, while the diagonal g1a7 can be exploited by BkQ - for if Bk B(e7) can chase her at h4, the WQ would eventually be lost: Try:
25. .. Qd8 (supporting B(e7) for the Q-hunt), if any non-Q move in 26, then 26..Bh4 and WQ is lost at once. The strongest move for W would be
26.Qe1 Qb6+
27.Be3 Nxe3
28.Kh1 and W loses a heavy defense piece, later Bk can simply by exchange, e.g. Nxc2, Bxc2 and BkQxN(b5).

Other 27. moves (after 26.Qe1 Qb6+) will get W into awkward position: e.g. 27.Kh1 Nf2+
28.Kg1 Nxd3 dis+
29.Kf1 Nxe1, W loses its Q

The only other way for WQ goes 26.Qh3, then same deal for Bk.26... Qb6+ 27.Kf1 Qf2#; OR
27.Kh1 Nf2+ and WQ is lost; OR
27.Be3 Qxe3+
28.Kf1 Qf2# (if 28.Kh1 Qe1#.)

Mar-27-11  stst: <Jimfromprovidence> skewer pin is nice, but after 29.Qf2 Be3 30.QxB Qxf1+ 31.Kh2 BxN, W is one piece down: Q vs Q+B, yet Bk still got a long way to win.
Mar-27-11  morfishine: <TuxedoKnight> I enjoyed your site! Congratulations for all the hard work!
Mar-27-11  wals: Beyond my ken.

Rybka 4 x 64

The game was equal at move 24...Qxa8, -=0.29.

White blunder
25.f3, -1.58. Best,

Rybka 4 x64: d 18 : 3 min :

1. (-0.35): 25.Be1 Qa1 26.f3 Ne3 27.Qf2 Nd1 28.Qf1 Qa6 29.Nc3 Qb6+ 30.Kh1 Nxc3 31.Bxc3 Bg5 32.Qe1 h6 33.Bb4 Qd4 34.Qb1 Be3 35.c3 Qb6 36.Qa1 Bc5 37.Qa4 Kh7 38.Qb5 Qxb5

2. (-0.51): 25.Bc3 Bd7 26.f3 Bxb5 27.fxg4 Bc6 28.Qe1 Qa7+ 29.Kf1 h6 30.Bb4 Qd7 31.h3 Bg5 32.c4 Qa7 33.Qf2 Qa1+ 34.Qe1 Qd4 35.Qc3 Qe3 36.Bc2 Qc1+

27.Kf1, -15.07 was no help. Best,

d 20 : 2 min

1. (-1.58): 27.Qf2 Bb4 28.Kh1 Bxg4 29.h3 Bc5 30.Qf1 Qd8 31.Bc4 Bh5 32.Kh2

2. (-1.79): 27.Qf3 Bxg4 28.Qf1 d5 29.exd5 Qxd5 30.Bc4 Qd7 31.h3 Bf5 32.Qe2 e4 33.Qf2 Bg6 34.Qc5 Bf4 35.Bd5 e3 36.Nd4 Bd6 37.Qc3 Qe8 38.Ne2 Qe5

Mar-27-11  Patriot: I didn't even consider 25...Bg5 because it looks insane. But once you consider it, it makes sense.

The idea is to displace the d2-bishop so that ...Qa1+ can occur with devastating effect. If black plays 25...Qa1+ right away, then 26.Qe1 shoots for a draw.

If I can't see a one move shot like this after several minutes of looking over the position, then that tells me a little bit about the kinds of candidates I'm not considering right away. I would rather know this fact and miss the key move than spend much more time on this and find the winning continuation without realizing there was a flaw in my thinking.

This may sound like I'm justifying why I missed the solution, but this is not the case. My theory is that if you don't see a potentially winning candidate quickly or you allow yourself unlimited time to solve a puzzle, then the mistakes you made in your thinking become hidden from view. For instance, it takes 10 minutes to see the winning candidate and you feel happy you solved it but you shove aside the fact it took so long to see it. Over-analyzing is another thing that can occur. Perhaps you spend a lot of time looking at silly or random lines and finally arrive at the winning solution. You give yourself a big pat on the back for solving it and you don't even know your thinking was flawed and impractical. You only solved it because it's a puzzle.

This is something I've observed about my own thinking and I would bet other's are making this same mistake. I'm not suggesting to give yourself x amount of time to solve a puzzle but at least be aware of how much time you are taking and when you may not be using an efficient or practical thought process.

If you saw the first move pretty quickly and then tried to work out the details, then I congratulate you for solving it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: From a Sicilian Defense, I suspect.

The material is even.

White threatens 26.fxg4.

The black knight already controls some dark squares around the white king which suggests 25... Bg5, to attack those squares and weaken White's back rank (the square e1):

A) 26.Bxg5 Qa1+ 27.Bf1 Bc4 28.Qf2 Nxf2 29.Kxf2 Qxf1+, etc.

B) 26.Bc3 Be3+

B.1) 27.Kf1 Bf2 28.Qh3 Ne3+ 29.Kxf2 Bxh3 30.gxh3 Nd1+ 31.Ke2 Nxc3 32.Nxc3 - + [Q vs B+N].

B.2) 27.Kh1 Nf2+ 28.Kg1 Nxe4+ and 29... Nxg3, winning.

C) 26.Qe1 Bxd2 27.Qxd2 Qa1+ 28.Bf1 Bc4 wins.

D) 26.fxg4 Bxd2

D.1) 27.Nxd6 Qa1+ 28.Bc1 (28.Kf2 Be1+) Qd4+ 29.Kh1 (29.Qf2 Be3) Qxd6 - + [B vs P].

D.2) 27.Qf2 Qa1+ 28.Qf1 Be3+ 29.Kh1 Qxf1+ 30.Bxf1 Bc5 with the better endgame.

E) 26.Nc7 Qa1+

E.1) 27.Bf1 Bc4 - +.

E.2) 27.Be1 Bd2 28.fxg4 Bxe1 - +.

E.3) 27.Qe1 Qa7+ 28.Kf1 (28.Kh1 Nf2+ 29.Kg1 Nxd3+) Bxd2 29.Qxd2 Nxh2+ 30.Ke2 Qxc7 the knight will cost White another pawn.

F) 26.f4 Bxf4 27.Bxf4 Qa1+ 28.Bc1 Bc4 - +.

Mar-27-11  WhiteRook48: I failed to get it, I just went for Qa1+ immediately
Mar-27-11  M.Hassan: "Insane" Black to move 25...? Even materials.

I saw the move and played it but did not get a win:

26.fxg4 Bxd2
27.Qf2 Bb4
28.Kh1 Bc5
29.Qe1 Bxg4
30.Nc7 Qb7
31.Nd5 Be6

And it looks that White is not in danger!

Mar-27-11  Patriot: <M.Hassan> You analyzed very well. But there is one point you're missing--black is up a pawn in that line. That's enough to prove the line is good and there's no need to solve for mate or anything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Moonwalker: <Patriot> totally agree with the "over-analysing" remark. Personally, I spend a couple of minutes (5 max) on the insane puzzles. I'm sure I'll find it in an hour but, like you said, that means sifting through a ton of useless moves...

If I can identify the theme and/or guess the key move then I'm a happy camper!

Then again, every time one misses a solution one learns something new, and thatís even better than solving the puzzle IMO!

Mar-27-11  Patriot: <Moonwalker> <I'm sure I'll find it in an hour but, like you said, that means sifting through a ton of useless moves...>

Exactly! And how does this help anyone become a better player, really? It might help you develop better visualization, which is good, but it also hides a lot of mistakes made during analysis. During a game nobody has time to search endlessly for a winning move even if they are convinced there is one. We can do this for solving puzzles but that doesn't help us play better chess.

<Then again, every time one misses a solution one learns something new, and thatís even better than solving the puzzle IMO!>

Good attitude! I look at my losses this way and figure out WHY I lost to try and avoid it next time.

Mar-27-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even, but white has an isolated c-pawn, the less mobile queen, and shows hints of a weak back rank which the BQ can access at a1. White appears to have played f3 on the last move to drive off the aggressing knight, a weakening of the g1 diagonal. If the knight retreats, black has nothing. If black plays 25... Qa1+, 26.Qe1 forces a queen trade with no apparent endgame advantage for black. This left me stuck for a while before I finally noticed

25... Bg5!

If you already have one piece en prise, why not make it two? This effectively utilizes both bishops and gives white serious problems:

A) 26.Bxg5? Qa1+ 27.Bf1 Bc4 28.Qf2 (otherwise 28... Qxf1#) Nxf2 wins.

B) 26.fxg4 Bxd2 and now:

B.1) 27.Nxd6? Qa1+ 28.Bf1 (Kf2 Qe1+ 29.Kf3 Qe3#) Qd4+ 29.Kh1 Qxd6 wins a piece.

B.2) 27.Qf2 Qa1+ 28.Qf1 (28.Bf1? Bc4 29.Nxd6 Be3! 30.Nxc4 Bxf2+ 31.Kxf2 and the BK can invade the dark squares in the Q vs N+B ending) Be3+ 29.Kh1 Qxf1+ 30.Bxf1 e5! looks like a promising ending for black with 2 Bs and a passed e-pawn.

C) 27.Bc3? Be3+ 28.Kf1 (Kh1 Nf2+ 29.Kg1 Nxe5+ wins) Bf2 29.Kh3 Ne3+ wins the WQ.

D) 27.Be1? Bf4 28.Qh4 (Qh3 Qa1 wins) g5! 29.Qh5/h6 Qa1 wins.

That's all I have time for - time to check.

Mar-27-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In B.2, missed the simple 27... Bb4 found by Crafty EGT, going instead for the "impatient queen" scenario described by <Once>. Nice puzzle nonetheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: G Kuzmin vs Akopian, 1993

Black to play (25...?) "Insane", even material.

Well, I started to do this before Monday rolled around (still Sunday in the West), but too many distractions, including my dog (what with needing to be fed, walked, played with, etc.), so I'm going to go ahead with it anyway!

One thing we notice is that White cannot play Nc7 as ...Qa7+ will pick up the knight. Also, 25...Qa1+ is easily answered by either 26. Qe1 or 26. Be1, and even 26. Bf1 Bc4 27. Qe1 (or 27. Be1).

The best I could come up with is 25...Bg5! 26. fxg4 Bxd2, obtaining the bishop pair and better pawn structure. Now 27. Nxd6? runs into 27...Qa1+ 28. Bf1 Qd4+, picking up the knight, or worse yet 28. Kf2?? Qe1+ 29. Kf3 Qe3#.

Other options for White after 25...Bg5 are worse: 26. Bxg5? Qa1+ 27. Bf1 Bc4 and wins, or 26. Be1 Bf4! 27. Qh4 g5 28. Qh5 Qa1 29. Kf1 Bd2 and wins, or 26. Qe1 Bxd2 27. Qxd2 Qa1+ 28. Bf1 Bc4 wins.

At long last, time to check it out.

Mar-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: I did not post yesterday because I went to chess club.

I looked at this puzzle for about 20 minutes ... and could not get it out of my head all day.

I found 25...Bg5!? ... but never found a forced win for Black. (I even set it up later at chess club and analyzed it with a board - a couple of friends also looked at it.) David2009 (and several others) did a good job of summarizing the pertinent ideas here.

I was happy to see that there was no (clear) forced win and that ...Bg5 was the way to go. (I did not look at the game until I got home last night.)

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