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Gadir Guseinov vs Gabriel Sargissian
European Team Championship (2011), Porto Carras GRE, rd 2, Nov-04
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted (C67)  ·  1-0


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sac: 33.Qxe6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <33.Qxe6+ Rxe6 34.Rc8+ Kh7 35.Rff8>

First saw this theme in an old Alekhine game from long ago. The difference here is Black has a defense [to avoid the suffocating mate] based on <Qd1+> followed by <Rd8>.

After <35...Qd1+ 36.Kg2 (best since 36.Kh2 allows 36....Qd6+ followed by 37...Qxf8)...Qd5+ 37.f3 (best since the White King must stay off the dark squares)...Rd8 38.Rcxd8 Qxd8 39.Rxd8 Rxe3 40.Kf2>

click for larger view

Stopped here as this looks hopeless for Black

<Phony Benoni> Interesting comment on the "Curse of the A-pawn"

Jan-28-12  Kiril Simeonovski: Practically it's not hard to see 33.Qxe6+ and the idea behind the mate on the 8th rank, but the key move here is 36.Kg2. If white played 36. Kh2, then Black could win a rook for the queen by playing 36...Qd6+ and would have a safer ending with 2R against R+B.
Jan-28-12  Nemesistic: After 33.Qxe6 if Black recaptures the Queen only suicide/computer moves can stop White after 34.Rc8+ ..Kh7, 35.Rff8 threatening Rh8#... Although Black does have a few checks,White win easy..

Im actually shocked i got another Saturday!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hehe. I got a Saturday puzzle. Maybe staring at Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985. I didn't calculate too far though. :-\
Jan-28-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this opposite-colored bishops middle-game, white is up two pawns and has the more mobile force, especially the superior queen position. Black's rooks guard the back two ranks passively, but black threatens both 33... Qxg5+ and Qxh3, getting to at least equality. However, the trapped position of the black king gives white a one-time opportunity.


I saw this immediately, but does it work?

33... Rxe6 34.Rc8+ Kh7 35.Rff8

All forced, of course, and the mate threat on h8 leaves black surprising helpless, in spite of the huge material advantage.

35... Qd1+ (the only chance: Rd1+ 36.Kg2 leaves black with no useful follow-up) 36.Kg2! Qd5+ 37.f3!

This is the "picture" position that I'm sure at least one kibitzer has diagrammed. In spite of mobilized majors on open files in the middle and white's king on an vulnerable 2nd rank, black has no useful checks. So black must give back the queen to stop mate.

37... Rd8 38.Rcxd8 Qxd8 39.Rxd8 Rxd3

Now I think either 40.Rb8 or 40.Kf2 gives white a fairly straightforward won R&P ending with white having a two pawn lead and black's king immobilized. I'll try this against Crafty EGT if it's working.

Time for review....

Jan-28-12  LoveThatJoker: The best play here for White is

33. Qxe6+ Rxe6 [33...Kh7 34. Qxe8 Qxh3 (33...Qxg5+ 35. Rg4 wins) 35. Qe4! wins (not 35. Rff8? Qg4+ and perpetual check.)]

34. Rc8+ Kh7 35. Rff8 Qd1+ [35...Rd1+ 36. Kg2! (Not 36. Kh2? Rh1+ and Black just might get perpetual) 36...Rg1+ 37. Kxg1 Qd1+ 38. Kg2 Qd5+ 39. f3 wins]

36. Kg2 (only move as 36. Kh2 Qd6+ followed by ...Qxf8) 36...Qd5+ 37. f3 Qd2+ (38...Rd8 39. Rcxd8 Qxd8 40. Rxd8 wins) 38. Bxd2 Rxd2+ 39. Kg3 wins


Jan-28-12  Confuse: At what point should this be considered "solved"? I saw up through to the first queen check and then gave up there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Confuse: At what point should this be considered "solved"?>

A very good question! Some folk will see the first move and decide that is enough to call it solved. Others will not be satisfied until they have resolved the position to a forced win. In the end, it comes down to personal taste rather than any hard and fast rules imposed by the website or the community.

For my money, today's POTD has several elements...

1. The basic threat of the Qxe6 sac followed by doubling the rooks on the back rank to lead to Rh8#.

2. Spotting that black can avoid the mate with the queen lift Qd1+ followed by Rd8.

3. Realising that white has to play Kg2 because Kh2 runs into a perpetual check or Qd6+ followed by Qxf8 which is also broadly level.

4. Finding black's best defence of 36...Qd5+ to force f3 before we play 37...Rd8, because that way black picks up the Be3.

5. Working out that, at the end of all that, white emerges with a winning rook and pawn endgame. And because of that, being certain that the starting move of 33. Qxe6 wins by force.

I'm usually hard on myself with these puzzles, so I don't count this one as solved for me. I found 4 of these elements but not all five. I didn't see black's 36... Qd5+ followed by picking up the bishop.

I guess it changes over time. When I started playing this game I would have been happy just to spot the basic theme and the first three moves. But as you get more experienced you really ought to raise the bar. Now I want - no, I demand - to be able to spot all of the key variations.

Stay hungry, always be curious, always try to be that little bit better than before and keep smiling.

Jan-28-12  sevenseaman: <Confuse> and <Once> I like the question as well as <Once>'s comprehensive answer. I often put this poser to myself.

If the mate comes in 4-6 moves I find it reasonable to go that distance, at times a little more. Over that the visualization begins to put a terrible strain and it becomes tough to keep track.

It cannot be that hard OTB as they broadly plan only 4-6 moves and then play it by the nose/ear.

In this one I would have been quite happy to drop off after Black could no more conjure up decent checks and chose to go for desperado/spite moves.

I think it was important to find <37. f3>, and it was a natural watershed too.

Jan-28-12  The Rocket: Confuse: depends on if you would have spotted f3... which I guess you would... since there are no more checks..

so you have indeed solved it

Jan-28-12  The Rocket: I for one found this way to easy, it's so forcing. saw it instantly
Jan-28-12  James D Flynn: Pieces are even and White is 2 pawns up. However, the pawns on h3 and g5 are both en prise. Black's King would be in trouble if it could be driven to the H file and White's heavy pieces lined up along the back rank. Therefore 33.Qxe6+ Rxe6 34.Rc8+ Kh7 45.Rf8 threatens mate in one and the g5 pawn is now defended. Black must check: R(either) to the back rank Kg2 and the only checks available give up the Q; therefore 45....Qd1+ 46.Kg2 Qd5+ 47.f3(not Kg3 48.Qd6+ followed by Qxf8 with a difficult likely drawn ending).Black is out of good checks but now has Rd8: 48.R(c)xd8 Qxd8 49Rxd8 Rxe3 50.Kf2 and we have simplified to a won ending with 2 pawns up and the Black K out of play on the king side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I figured this one out. The queen sac leads not only to mate threats early,but a winning endgame later when the black king is left TRAPPED.
Jan-28-12  PeonNegro: This was an easy one.
Jan-28-12  Patriot: White is up two pawns. Black threatens 33...Qxg5+.

The move I want to play is 33.Qxe6+:

A) 33...Rxe6 34.Rc8+ Kh7 35.Rf8

A.1) 35...Rd1+ 36.Kg2

A.2) 35...Qd1+ 36.Kg2 Qd5+ (36.Kh2?? Qd6+ 37.Bf4 Qxf8 38.Rxf8 ) 37.f3 and I don't see anything better than 37...Qd2+ 38.Bxd2 Rxd2+ 39.Kg3

B) 33...Rf7 34.Qxf7+ Kh7 35.Qxe8 Qxg5+ 36.Rg4

Jan-28-12  Patriot: I meant to say 35.Rff8 in line A.

Why didn't I consider 37...Rd8 in line A.2? This must be a board vision mistake, not seeing this simple defense idea.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The end game looks tough to win. For example, 42...Rb5 looks better than the text as it ties white's rook to defense of the b pawn.

click for larger view

I think this part is where the difficulty level comes into view.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Morfishine> I think the "old Alekhine game" was Alekhine vs Colle, 1925:

click for larger view

<30.Qxd7! Rxd7 31.Re8+! Kh7 32.Rcc8 Rd8 33.Rexd8!> Not 33.Rcxd8? Qc1+! and Black escapes the mate.

Jan-28-12  SugarRaySam: Here's the solution:


33...Rxe6 (black has no choice to take the queen because 33...Kh7 loses a rook)


34...Kh7 (only option for black as he cannot block the check on the 8th rank)

35.Rf4-f8 (threatening 36.Rh8#)



36...Rd1 (blockinq the 8th rank and mating possibility)

37.Rxd1 Qxd1 38.Rxd1 and the result is white winning a bishop

This is it I believe.

Jan-28-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> This actually looks straightforward for White as after 42...Rb5 43. b4 a5 44. Rd4 Kg8 (44...a4? 45. Rd8) 45. Rf4! a4 46. Ke3 is winning for White.

Another line could go 42...Rb5 43. b4 Rb6 44. Kg3 Ra6 45. Rd3 Kg8 46. Kg4 Kf7 47. Re3 with the plan of pushing h5.


Jan-28-12  bachbeet: Like others here, I got the first few moves. I consider that a good accomplishment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <sevenseaman> On your comment <I think it was important to find 37.f3 and it was a natural watershed too> This is the key for White: trade down eventually forcing Black to play <Rd8>; Black is down 2-pawns with a bad position; simplifying leaves him without resource. I spent most of my time trying to hold onto the Bishop but finally realized it didn't matter.

<Phony Benoni> Thanks for supplying the game Alekhine vs Colle: Couldn't recall the opponent

Jan-28-12  RookFile: <The end game looks tough to win.>

Not really. If white is careless, black might have a stalemate possibility, but otherwise, black is a pawn down on the queenside.

Jan-28-12  Elo: This is the type of puzzle when the first-move is obvious, but only because we know it is a puzzle. OTB a player might soon consider Qxe6, but how certain would they be that it works? Enough to commit to the move OTB?
Jan-28-12  Eduardo Leon: Who else found this puzzle easy, but <32.h3!> incredibly hard to find?
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