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Normunds Miezis vs David Navara
European Team Championship (2011), Porto Carras GRE, rd 3, Nov-05
French Defense: Exchange. Monte Carlo Variation (C01)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-14-12  FrogC: <dragon player: now white threatens to promote with mate>

It can't really be called a threat because that cannot legally happen. Black must move and the only legal moves are with the bishop, preventing that outcome from taking place.

Mar-14-12  LIFE Master AJ: 87.Nd7!

Beautiful! More like a problem than a real chess game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LoveThatJoker: Awesome! A Navara puzzle!

87. Nd7! wins immediately as

a) 87...Bxh7 88. Nc7#.

b) 87...Bc7 88. Nxc7#

c) 87...B else 88. Nb6#


Premium Chessgames Member
  goldenbear: That was a Monday puzzle. Too easy for a Wednesday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: This bare-bones ending is basic knowledge + logic, yet I tried to make it harder than it was. Of course, 87.axb8(??) Kxb8 is a draw, as every beginner has been taught. So 87.Nd7! is the obvious continuation, to control b8 and meet 87... Bxa7 with 88.Nc7#. Now I thought that Ne6 has to be maneuvered to d5 to finish the job. When I realized that was difficult/impossible, I saw the rest of the solution tree:


A) 87... Bxa7 88.Nc7#

B) 87... Bc7 88.Nxc7#

C) 87... other 88.Nb6#

Mar-14-12  zb2cr: Simple and elegant. 87. Nd7! threatens to Queen by taking the Bishop.

Now if 87. ... Bxa7; 88. Nc7#.

If 87. ... B moves along the b8-a2 diagonal, 88. Nb6#.

Mar-14-12  pericles of athens: got it!! saw it in about 10 seconds.

hell yeah.

Mar-14-12  Memethecat: Nice easy one today.

87Nd7 & black should resign.

87...Bxa7 88Nc7#

87...Bc7 88Nxc7#

87...B anywhere else 88Nb6#


Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: I really love this endgame with two knights plus a-pawn vs a bishop.

87. Nd7! (threatening 88. axb8=Q or R#) see. below:

a) 87...Bxa7, 88. Nc7#

b) 87...Bc7, 88. Nxc7#

c) 87...Bh2 88. Nb6#


Beautiful endgame by Normunds Miezis


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Awesome. I feel like I'm getting better. However, I didn't calculate 87...Bxa7, but I would've figured it out, eventually.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: What was black thinking, that white would take the bishop? Guess when you played a piece down for 50 moves a few more don't matter.

The last move was easy but white shows the right technique using one knight to block the bishop while the other one holds back black's g-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LoveThatJoker: It should be noted that in my original post I referred to the puzzle as a Navara puzzle as I'm a fan of his. In actually it is a Miezis puzzle.

Secondly, in my 'a)' line I'm obviously refering to 87...Bxa7 as Black's B has only one capture available to him along the seventh rank!


Mar-14-12  Memethecat: <zb2cr: Simple and elegant. 87. Nd7! threatens to Queen by taking the Bishop.> Unfortunately this is impossible as the B MUST move.

<pericles of athens: got it!! saw it in about 10 seconds. hell yeah.> What took you so long?

Mar-14-12  VincentL: "Medium/Easy".

Not seen a position like this too often in a real game.

The move I see is 87. Nd7. Now if 87.....Bxa7 88. Nc7#

If 87....Bc7 88. Nxc7#

On 87....B any other square 88. Nb6#.

Letīs check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw this one pretty quickly:

87♘d7! wins.

if 87...♗xa7 88 ♘c7#
if 87...♗c7 88 ♘xc7#
if ♘ other,white executes the threatened ♘b6#

Mar-14-12  psmith: This is perhaps a little easy for Wednesday.

I won't repeat the analysis others have given. But maybe worth noting that after 87. Nd7, every move loses, but it’s not zugzwang: if the Bishop could sit still White would mate anyway. (Maybe this is already discussed in the comments; if so, sorry.)

Mar-14-12  PeaceRequiresAnarchy: Easy as pi!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's an interesting moment after <84...Bh2>:

click for larger view

Miezes played <85.a7+>, which your Friendly Neighborhood Tablebase will inform you is by far the best move. It forces mate in four moves, while alternatives take at least 12.

And I probably wouldn't have played it, because of positions like this:

click for larger view

This is a draw, since the Black king can't be forced out of the corner without giving stalemate or losing the pawn.

Knowing that, I would have been very wary of advancing the pawn to the 7th rank, and probably played 85.Nd7+ Ka8 (85...Kc8 86.a7 Bg1+ 87.Nec5 Bxc5+ 88.Nxc5) 86.Nc7+ Bxc7 87.Kxc7, and White will win eventually with little trouble. (A sample line would be 87...Ka7 88.Nc5 Ka8 89.Kb6 Kb8 90.Ne6 Ka8 91.Nc7+ Kb8 92.a7+.)

Miezis sized up the position correctly. Would you have done the same, or choose a safer-looking line like I would have?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <al wazir> <This endgame is so far out of my league that I might as well be a monkey trying to type one of Shakespeare's plays.>

With a puzzle like this, I use the Nalimov 6 piece table bases as my guide.

I like to trace the text immediately after there are 6 pieces left move by move alongside the Nalimov "answer guide" results and see how they diverged.

It's helped me understand these endgame situations quite a bit.

FWIW, it's interesting to me that even though the puzzle is simple, there is only 1 correct answer out of 20 legal moves.

Mar-14-12  sevenseaman: A number of solvers have assessed today's POTD as easy. At least one has said it was Monday-like.

I think once you solve it, it looks very easy. IMO it is quite intimidating, before you solve it.

Try this one for example.

click for larger view

White to play and win.

After you solve it, you will feel the same 'It was so easy'. But do you feel that straight away?

Though really not difficult, I think most of us will have to spend a fair amount of time getting it.

Mar-14-12  VincentL: Given that this game was played between two grandmasters I am a bit surprised that black did not resign around move 24.
Mar-14-12  Nemesistic: 87.Nd7 .."Black moves Bishop somewhere!!" 88.Nb6#.. Or...87.Nd7 ..Bxa7 88.Nc7#

Reminds me of one of them puzzle T-Shirts are flogging!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <VincentL: Given that this game was played between two grandmasters I am a bit surprised that black did not resign around move 24.>

I suspect the fact that it was a team championship had something to do with it. You wouldn't want to be the first to cash in with an early loss.

Besides, I thought that black had real chances to draw this. Once the rooks were off the board all he needed to do was exchange his bishop for the white rook pawn and it's a draw. And that rook pawn had to cross a couple of black squares to get to a8.

White had to be patient to push his a pawn only when the bishop couldn't snaffle it.

Mar-14-12  scormus: <I suspect the fact that it was a team championship had something to do with it>

I know from personal experience how painful it is to be the first loser in a team match. Then again, it can be even worse when the scores are lvel and you're the last loser. More than <once> it happened to me

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Surely after 25.Qc2 intending 26.Rd1 White would have won a lot faster? It seems absurd that it took White, up a piece for a pawn, over 60 more moves to win.
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