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Alex Astaneh Lopez vs Eric Schiller
Tradewise Gibraltar (2012), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 5, Jan-28
Zukertort Opening: Grünfeld Reversed (A49)  ·  1-0


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sac: 42.Rh8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Didn't do well tonight. I spent a few minutes exploring the idea of 41.Nh4 before realizing that White's queen was hanging. Then I figured it had to be the immediate 41.Rxh8+ Kxh8 42.Qxg6, but it looks like 42...Ne4 will probably defend though there may be a perp in there.

Somehow 41.Qd2 didn't occur to me. I saw the separate ideas of invasion down a file as well as on the kingside, but didn't find the double attack that put them both together.

Feb-10-12  LivBlockade: I chose 41. Qc1 instead of 41. Qd2 thinking I could meet ...Ne4 with Qc7+. After 41. Qd2 Ne4, I missed 42. Qf4 which is very strong.

I also liked 41. Qc1 because it attacks Black's rook, so I can meet ...Be8 with Rxe8 followed by Qxa3.

So is 41. Qc1 inferior to 41. Qd2?

Feb-10-12  rannewman: amm, I tried 42. Rh8+, I am without an engine so maybe someone can explain me why doesn't it work..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <LivBlockade> The combination works because the e6 square is vulnerable. After 41.Qc1, perhaps Black can overprotect it in advance with 41...Qb3. This option is not available after 41.Qd2, as Black must stop the invasion by 42.Qd6.

But don't trust me. I'm not seeing anything tonight.

Feb-10-12  VincentL: "Difficult".

I think the solution must be a mating pattern in the h8 corner. How to bring this about?

41. Rh8+ looks to be the best try. After 41.....Kxh8 42. Qxg6. This threatens 43. Qxh6+, followed by Ng5 and mate on h7 or f7. However I cannot see how to refute the defence Be8 / Qd7.

If black declines the rook with 41.....Kg7, white can continue 42. Rg8+ ! with the same threats as above.

There is more to this problem but it is late.

I am going to check.

Feb-10-12  LivBlockade: <Phony Benoni> Thanks for the reply. However, it looks like after 41. Qc1 Qb3; 42. Qf4 will mate quickly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: >LivBlockade> Yes, no doubt. This seems a good time for me to shut up for the night.
Feb-10-12  LIFE Master AJ: I saw 41.Qd2, but rejected 41..Qb4; because of the sack, I was focused on mainly 41...g5.
Feb-10-12  meetvirgo2005: I considered 41.Qd2 and Qc1 before ruling out both for reasons I can't recall and went for 41.Rh8+ Kxh8 42.Qxg6 instead. Thought that will result in a weak black defence and a win somehow.Anyway no points today for me.
Feb-10-12  LIFE Master AJ: Is taking on d3 (Black's 34th move) constitute an improvement over the game?
Feb-10-12  sofouuk: 41 Rh8+<!??> leads to one of those rare positions where rybka finds it hard to get its head around all the tactics, because in all the variations it takes white several moves to get the material back. however after ... Kxh8 42 Qxg6

click for larger view

the best it can come up with so far is 41 ... Bc4, which makes sense, but then 43 Qxh6+ Kg8 44 Qg6+ Kf8 45 Ng5 Ke7 (Qe8 46 Nh7+ is no better for black - a couple of checks and white can pick up the Bc4) 46 Qf7+ Kd8 47 Qxb7 Bd5 48 Bxd5 exd5 49 Nxe6+ Ke8 50 Nc5 Qg4 51 Qxd5

click for larger view

which looks like a pretty straightforward win for white, Q+N in deadly combination

41 Qd2 was a nice move, anyway :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Have noting to add to <Phony Benoni>'s post. Exactly the same the same thought process....Qd2 never came to my mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Sneaky. White takes a move to prepare Rh8+ so that the queen enters on h6 with check. Missed it.
Feb-10-12  LoveThatJoker: I'm liking 41. Qc1! with the idea of sacrficing the R on h8 and penetrating Black's K-side with the Q and N when mate is unstoppable.

After 41. Qc1!, Black can try the following

a) 41...g5 (best) 42. Nxg5+ hxg5 [42...Kg7 43. Nxe6+ Kg6 (43...Kf7 44. Qxh6 ; 43...Kh7 44. Rh8+ Kxh8 45. Qxh6+ Kg8 46. Kg7#; 43...Kh7 44. Rh8+ Kg6 45. Qh6+ mates in all variations) 44. Rf8! wins as 44...Ne4 45. Bxe4 Qxe4 46. Rf6+ Kh5 (46...Kh7 47. Qxh6+ mating) 47. Qxh6+ Kg4 48. Qh4#; 42...Kg6 43. Rf8! and mates]43. Qxg5 Be8 [43...Ne4 44. Bxe4+ Qxe4 45. Rg8! and Black cannot stop White from delivering mate on either g7 or g6 (e.g., 45...Qg2+ 46. Kxg2 Bc6+ 47. Kh2 )] 44. Qe7+ Kh6 (44...Kg6 45. Qxe6+ and White is even happier) 45. Rxe8 and Black will either get mated soon or lose his entire army.

b) 41...Ne4?? 42. Qc7+

c) 41...Nd5 42. Rh8+ Kxh8 (forced as 42...Kg7 43. Qxh6+ Kf7 44. Qf8#) 43. Qxh6+ Kg8 44. Ng5 Be8 45. Qh7+ Kf8 46. Nxe6#

d) 41...Qg4? 42. Qxa3 Qh5+ 43. Nh4 wins easily (the same cannot be said for 43. Kg1? Ne2+ of course, as it may still be winning - or possibly even not - but why bother complicating one's own life like that?)


Feb-10-12  tacticalmonster: candidate: 41 Rh8+

a) 41 Kxh8 42 Qxg6 Qe4 43 Qf6+ Kg8 44 Nh4! Qh7 45 Ng6 Qg7 46 Qd8+ Kh7 (46 Kf7 47 Nh8+) 47 Nf8+ Kh8 48 Nxe6+ Qg8 49 Qf6+ Kh7 50 Nf8+ Qxf8 52 Qxf8

b) 41 Kg7 42 Rg8+ Kxg8 43 Qxg6+ Kf8 44 Qxh6+ Ke7 45 Ng5 Bd7 46 Qf6+ Ke8 47 Nf7!

Feb-10-12  alshatranji: Very interesting. I thought that in a "real" game I would play Qd2 with the idea of Rh8+. But I was looking for something more significant, more decisive, so I chose Rh8+ immediately, followed by Qxg6, with the idea of a perpetual check. I don't know if it would work, but there's no way I could calculate all those moves. Some people say the knowledge that there is a decisive move at a particular point makes the puzzle easier than OTB play, and they may be right. But here is an exception.
Feb-10-12  LoveThatJoker: Looking at the game now, it is obvious that 41. Qc1 and 41. Qd2 are both strong. That being said, 41. Qc1 is stronger as it gives White the opportunity to play 42. Qc7+ if Black plays 41...Ne4??.

Studying what transpired in the game after 41. Qd2 Qb4, I have developed an alternate solution:

41. Qc1 Qb4 42. Ng5+ hxg5

[42...Kg7 43. Nxe6+ Kf7 (43...Kh7 44. Rh8+ and White mates in two) 44. Qxh6! Qe7 (44...Kxe6 45. Qxg6+ Kxe5 46. f4+! wins; 44...Kxe6 45. Qxg6+ Ke7 46. Qf6#) 45. Qh8! Kxe6 (45...Qxe6 46. Qf8#; 45...g5 Qg8#; 45...Be8 46. Rxe8 Qxe8 47. Qf6+ and 48. Qg7#) 46. Bh3+ Kf7 47. Qg8#]

43. Qxg5 and now White wins due to threat of 44. Qf6. For example, if Black plays 43...Ne4 44. Bxe4 (44. Qh4+ ) 44...Qxe4 45. Qf6 wins.


Feb-10-12  scormus: I struggled with this one and ended up picking 41 Ng5+ hxg5 42 Qc1 which B can counter with ... Kh7! 43 Rh8 Kg7 (B probably has other defenses).

Particularly frustrating because I considered 41 Qd2 (also Qc1 <LTJ, I agree>) with the game continuation in mind. I rejected them because of 41 ... g4 which I think was the best defense. Didnt follow through on 42 Nxg5+! which seems to win or give W at least a clear adv.

Sigh :(

Feb-10-12  pedro123: It should be noted that White's primary threat after 41.Qd2 is 42.Qd6 threatening Qe7 or f8 according to the reply which is why black played 41..Qb4

41...Be8 stopping the R sac doesn't work (42.Qd6!)

Feb-10-12  sevenseaman: When I opened the home page I stared blankly at it for 5 minutes; I felt as though I had been socked on the head. Snoozed off for a good 45 minutes.

When I came back I stared again for 5 minutes and diffidently got this good-looking sequence;

<41. Qd2 Qa5 42. Rh8+ Kxh8 43. Qxh6+ Kg8 44. Qg6+ Kf8 45. Ng5 Be8 46. Qh6+ Ke7 47. Qg7+>; e5 P is a great help, 1-0 methinks. (47...Kd8 48. Nxe6+, Kc8 49. Qb7#)

The score is different. I do not understand how much difference results from <41...Qb4 in lieu of 41...Qa5 or why 41... Qb4 is to be preferred at all.

May be I am still groggy.

Someone wise to it, please help me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Hard to analyze exactly, but clearly 41.Rh8+! Kxh8 (41...Kg7 42.Rg8+) 42.Qxg6 is the way to go. Then 42...Qe4 43.Qf6+ (43.Qxh6+?? Qh7 ) Kg8 (43...Kh7? 44.Ng5+ wins the queen) 44.Qxe6+ and White has a raging attack, which will soon have his queen, e-pawn, knight (via Nh4 and Ng6) and bishop (via Bh3) participating. Black's pieces are a disorganized mess, with only his queen and king defending. Probably a forced win for White, who risks no more than a draw. You're not going to be able to analyze it to the end, and there's no other promising line, so don't waste time on your clock. Just do it.
Feb-10-12  sevenseaman: <pedro123: It should be noted that White's primary threat after 41.Qd2 is 42.Qd6 threatening Qe7 or f8 according to the reply which is why black played 41..Qb4>

Reading on I get <pedro123>'s angle now. Damnation if I ever thought of this slow route for my marauding royal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I thought of 41.Qd2, but didn't like giving Black a move to breathe with 41...Qg4 or 41...Be8. But on further examination, neither effectively defends against 42.Qd6. On 41...Qg4 42.Qd6 Qh5+, 43.Nh4 is winning. Based on what <sofuuk> said, it looks like my 41.Rh8+!? wins too - but given the choice between a speculative but strong rook sac and a deadly move that sacs nothing, 41.Qd2 is to be preferred.
Feb-10-12  Limpin Kt: Tactically Complicated puzzle. For pure tactical players, its hard to find, as rightly remarked above that even computers may find it difficult. But d solution s rather intuitive. I figured both 1.Qd2! and 1.Rh8! But as answer for d puzzuld i selected R.R1, but in real game definately i would have played Qd2, even though i saw Rh8 (which i'm sure i couldn't hav seen on board.) nice puzzle :)
Feb-10-12  LoveThatJoker: <scormus> Thanks for the shout out, man!

I wrote my initial analysis and then looked at what transpired in the game.

After 41. Qc1/Qd2 g5 is a defence, but admittedly not Black's best - as I had initially thought. 41...Qb4 is best; Sevenseaman's 42...Qa5 is also good for that matter.

The idea is that after 41. Qc1/d2 Qb4 Black's Q can reach the important square e7 in some lines (with 42...Qa5 Black's Q can reach c7 which is also good). It's lovely to see how Lopez circumvented this defence with the lovely Q manoeuvres after the R sac.

That being said, my alternate solution of 41. Qc1 Qb4 42. Ng5+! demonstrates that 41...Qb4 can be circumvented in another way. ;)

Just as an aside, after 41. Qc1 Qa5 42. Ng5+ hxg5 (best in this case) 43. Qxg5 Qxd8 (best as 43...Qc7 44. Qh4+ wins outright for White) 44. Qxd8 White has the better endgame and the major threat of 45. Qe7+ which Black must attend to immediately. These considerations put together give White a solid initiative and, moreso than that, a winning game.


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