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Dimitrios Mastrovasilis vs Nigel Short
European Team Championship (2011), Porto Carras GRE, rd 2, Nov-04
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  1-0


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Given 15 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a knight.

Black threatens 25... Qxc5 and 25... Nxh6.

The rook on c8 defends the square f8 to prevent the bishop from invading the dark squares near the black king and also defends the black queen. Hence, 25.Bf8, threatening 26.Bg7+, avoiding ...Qxc5 and defending the pawn on h6:

A) 25... Rxf8 26.Qxc7, etc.

B) 25... Qxc4 26.Bg7#.

C) 25... Nxh6 26.Qxc7 Rxc7 27.Bxh6 + - [B].

D) 25... Ne7 26.Bg7+ Kg8 27.Qxe6#.

E) 25... Qb(f)7 26.Bg7+ Qxg7 27.hxg7+ Kxg7 28.Qxb4 + - [Q+2P vs N].

F) 25... b3 26.Bg7+ is similar to E.

Nov-09-11  jackalope: My hat's off to all those who saw this quickly - I've got to learn to widen my focus. All too often, I find myself lacking peripheral vision, both in puzzle solutions and, more frustratingly, during OTB games. Hey, it's part of the learning process, right? :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Ohio Chess Fan> You're not alone--Rd7 enticed me, too.
Nov-09-11  sevenseaman: <jackalope> <All too often, I find myself lacking peripheral vision, both in puzzle solutions and, more frustratingly, during OTB games. Hey, it's part of the learning process, right? :-)>

No. Its a problem for your ophthalmologist, I think.

Nov-09-11  newton296: < sevenseaman: <newton296> I tried your suggestion. Frankly I found it no faster. You may be disappointed but I am a weak player; I have to go for many trial and errors.>

yep, I'm an average player and have to use trial error too. thats what these type of endgames (R+B vs R) and egt are really good for.

another tricky endgame that will help you improve alot is Q vs r+r, this takes alot of skill to win for the rook side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: 25 Bf8 of course, like a Monday puzzle.
Nov-09-11  jackalope: LOL <sevenseaman> - you might be right...
Nov-09-11  Hossam Hassan: Oh yes ...25... Ne7 26.Bg7+ Kg8 27.Qxe6# Faster than i gave in my previous comment ... thanx agb2002
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Wow! another overworked rook:

25...♖xf8 26 ♕xc7

25...♕f7 26 ♗g7+ ♕xg7 27 hxg7+ ♔xg7 and the white queen escapes and wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: White can create a huge mating threat and protect the lonely Ph6, which looks like it is lost, but actually it is about to turn into a god!

<25 Bf8 ...>

25 ... Qxc4 26 Bg7#!
25 ... Rxf8 26 Qxc7 winning easily
25 Ne7 Bg7+ 26 Kg8 Qxc7 27 Rxc7 Rd8+ 28 Ke7 (Rxd8 29 Rxd8+ mating) Rxa8 winning a rook and probably much more!

<25 ... Nxh6>
<26 Qxc7 Rxc7>
<27 Bxh6> winning a piece and still having huge back rank threats!

Time to check...

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I read about this game -- of course Short saw Bg7#, he just allowed it for the spectators, since he was lost in any case. Spraggett discussed the game on his blog a few days ago.
Nov-09-11  rilkefan: <<sevenseamen>: Took me 10 minutes or so. Time just flew.>

Funny - I have the sense you're better at these than I am, but I spent about a second looking at the board before noticing Bf8, and another second deciding Nxh6 was still probably lost (hadn't counted the material).

Of course there's no such thing as an optimal search algorithm over all positions, so one is stuck examining a lot of moves and where one randomly starts is critical in determining solution time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Landman: <beenthere240> <of course Short saw Bg7#, he just allowed it for the spectators> This is highly admirable. I'd love to see the culture of resignation change, such that middlegame mating combinations are allowed to play to completion.
Nov-09-11  anandrulez: <sevenseaman> I played vs crafty and found some zugzwang idea pretty soon . It was so much zug that I could win after dropping a rook ...with 5 pawns and a bishop
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <luzhin: The blunder 24...Qc7 is understandable --it's possible to miss 25.Bf8 *** >

I dunno. At this level, an oversight like <24. Ö Qc7??> seems pretty egregious to me. Still, it isnít Shortís worst blunder (or even second-worst) ever:

See: <58. Ke6???> in Short vs Beliavsky, 1992; and

<121. Re6??> in Short vs Krasenkow, 2004.

Perhaps Nigel can take solace that apparently in his mature years, he has finally solved his problems with the e6-square. Now, to deal with that other sticky wicket, c7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Come you learn from the master this is how it should be done.

Hoffed it feat in bishop c5 cold Greece legend shows his talent.

Serious business 11.Ne2 0-0 too slow 12.Qg3 oops h6 castling in to it one might say paint 11 I advance in it h5 morguess it entombed red monarch.

Adding insult and injury collonic irrigation c5 f8 g7

Grateful feint Mastrovasilis the aquaduct!

It all revved up with no place to go?...

Nov-09-11  checkmateyourmove: Bad day at the office when u cant see that 2 moves ahead... ouchyyy
Nov-09-11  howlwolf: Pretty move, but can't get credit for finding it, since I looked at this game a day or 2 ago.
Nov-09-11  alachabre: Well, it took about a minute and a half of plowing through the various combinational possibilities, getting familiar with the position, before I saw that

25. Bf8 threatens a costly check on g7 and must be immediately dealt with.

25. ... Rxf8 loses the queen.

25. ... Nxh6 looks best at this point.

26. Qxc7 Rxc7
27. Bxh6 threatens back rank mate, so the retreat

27. ... R7c8 looks forced, or perhaps Kg8, and White has a technically won game.

Is there better than 26. Qxc7 for White? Hmm, maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe there is better than 27. Bxh6.

27. Rd8 Rxd8
28. Rxd8 Ng8

That seems to go nowhere, so I will stick with the original variation and see if I can win a won game.

Nov-09-11  sevenseaman: <rilkefan> I spent time on assessing first <25. Rd7> going for the Black Q in view of the pawn on h6. It gets out (the Q) via a check at f4.

Then I wasted time on <25. Qxe6> hoping to push my Q to seventh if Black Q went for the B bait. It took me time to realise Black wouldn't do me that favor (Q leaving the 7th)and pushing his luck.

It was frustration time when I saw the B connect with h6.

Some 6th sense told me I had touched down on the correct spot in hazy conditions and was going to pocket some material at the least. Jubilation!

Even so, I was embarrassed later when I found from kibitzing I had overlooked the <25...Nxh6> defense. What an @#$%*@!!

I just sensed it must have been close to 10 minutes.

Most of you guys here have time as a big factor as you have OTB in mind. No such excess baggage for me. I am only concerned with solving the puzzle.

Most days I instinctively get the right idea first thing ... but when I stray it is hell to pay.

Your thinking I am better than you at it may be misplaced, frankly. I rate Crafty as an average device but it keeps me waiting at the door long times. But thanks all the same, 'twas fun.

Nov-09-11  sevenseaman: <anandrules> You must have the 'drop' on Crafty. It keeps me waiting no end, though being able to deal with it ultimately is still a pleasure.

Tell me the mantra.

I guess you are an <Anand> fan. Say, will Anand be able to put it across to Boris? I fear Anand gets into mental traffic jams these days rather oftener.

No bravado or wishful hoping, but just your analytical and realistic assessment?

Nov-09-11  stst: oh yeah, got the theme of making use of the idle P while sac the Q!
Nov-09-11  rilkefan: <Most of you guys here have time as a big factor as you have OTB in mind.>

I also have putting the kids to bed, fixing that flickering light my wife keeps complaining about, writing that paper my boss keeps mentioning, getting my book of poems published, ... in mind. All of which or equivalent I imagine you have as well. Let's just say I have a shorter attention span for these problems.

Nov-09-11  Nullifidian: 25. ♗f8, threatening ♗g7#.

25... ♖xf8 loses the queen.
25... ♕xc4 loses the game.
Best is probably 25... ♘xh6 26. ♕xc7 ♖xc7 27. ♗xh6 where White has a won position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Shame on me: I could not put it together. I saw that Bf8-g7 could be decisive but I assumed that if Bf8 then Rxf8. Did not see that the Black queen would then be loose.

But what happens if 25...Qf7 leaving the white queen under attack? Ah, white proceeds with 26 Bg7+ Qxg7 27 hxg7+ Kxg7 and then the white queen has a chance to move.

It was classy of Short to play 25... Qxc4 to let white see the beautiful mate on the board.

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