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Yifan Hou vs Kateryna Alexandrovna Lagno
Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012), Istanbul TUR, rd 3, Aug-30
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0


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sac: 38.Qxg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-31-12  UncleTarrasch: A very instructive game, quite like in the style of her hero, Bobby Fischer
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I predict that nobody will get the exact sequence of moves today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Believe it or not, I thought that White had to find some means of salvaging a draw! So I found the game continuation, and concluded that Black would have to settle for perpetual check after 38...Qh5+. I presume that White can escape the checks, but how?
May-19-13  NyP: <An Englishman: ...Black would have to settle for perpetual check after 38...Qh5+. I presume that White can escape the checks, but how?>

I also thought that black can secure the draw with Qh5-Kg1-Qd1. I guess the solution is Qh5-Kg3!

May-19-13  M.Hassan: "Insane"
White to play 38.?
White has a Bishop for a Knight.

38.Qxg7 Qxc1
<Black Queen can not repeatedly check the King and it is best to take the Bishop: ...Qh5+ 38.Kg3 Qd1>

39.Qxf6+ Kf8
40.Qh8+ Bg8
41.Qh6+ Ke7
<if...Kf7 42.g6+ and Black Queen is gone>

White has developed two passed pawns for the price of a Bishop and still has the upper hand:

42.f6+ Ke8
43.f7+! Bxf7
44.Qxc6+ Kf8
I don't know how the endgame will continue but if 45...Qxb2 46.g6 Q.b3 47.gxf7 Qxf7 48.Qxe5 White will have a Bishop extra.

Time to check

May-19-13  lost in space: Well, I saw the first few moves but haven't been able to see, if this is a win or a draw. My thought was that most probably Black would have a perp...
May-19-13  gars: A very beautiful and logical combination, of which I did not see a single move!
May-19-13  newzild: My first candidate was 38. gxf6+, when 38...Kxf6 loses to 39. Bg5+ Kxg5 40. Qxg7+ and eventually Black is either mated or loses his queen for bishop.

However, simply 38...gxf6 spoils the fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: Yifan Ho surely didn't "see" everything by far. There is no way that even the greatest players can calculate everything: they do what they can, and rely on instinct and experience after that.
May-19-13  bachbeet: I was thinking along the same lines as lost in space because I thought that the Qxg7 led to perpetual check.
May-19-13  jvasea1990: (58.Bd5 Houdini 3 Pro w32
#-9 (depth 26) Qe2+ 59.Kh6 Qh2+ 60.Kg6 Qc2+ 61.Kg7 Qf5 62.Qxc6 Qxg5+ 63.Kf7 Qh5+ 64.Ke6 Qg4+ 65.Ke7 Qe6+ 66.Kxe6 Ka7

#-7 (depth 26) Qd3 59.Qd6+ Ka7 60.Qc7+ Ka6 61.Bxc6 Qe2+ 62.Kg6 Qc2+ 63.Kg7 Qg6+ 64.Kxg6 c4)

#-6 (depth 26) Qxd5 59.Qxd5 Kc7 60.f7 Ne7 61.Qa8 b5 62.f8=Q Kd6 63.Qb7 bxa4 64.Qfxe7#)

#-6 (depth 26) Qf5 59.Qxf5 Kc7 60.f7 b5 61.f8=Q Kb6 62.Qd7 Ka6 63.Bxc6 bxa4)

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 38... Qxc1, 38... Qxa4 and 38... Qh5+ trading queens.

The moves I would initially consider are 38.gxf6+, 38.g6 and 38.Qxg7.

In the case of 38.gxf6+ gxf6 (38... Kxf6 39.Qh4+ g5 40.Qxg5#) 39.Bh6 Qh5+ 40.Kg3 Nb8 41.Qh8 Nd7 and White doesn't seem to have made much progress.

The obvious 38.g6 is met with 38... Qxc1 39.Qxg7 Qf4+ with perpetual.

Therefore, 38.Qxg7:

A) 38... Qxc1 39.Qxf6+

A.1) 39... Kd7 40.Qxf7+ followed by 41.Qh5, protecting the pawn on g5, avoiding perpetual and threatening to push both passed pawns.

A.2) 39... Ke8 40.Qxc6+

A.2.a) 40... Kd8 41.Qxb6+ looks winning. For example, 41... Kd7 42.Qb7+ Kd8 43.Qb8+ Kd7 44.Qxe5 Qxg5 45.Qg3 Qh6+ (45... Qh5+ 46.Qh3) 46.Bh3 Qd2+ 47.Qg2 Qf4+ 48.Kh1 Qc1+ 49.Qf1 stops the checks.

A.2.b) 40... Ke7 41.Qf6+ Kf8 (41... Ke8 42.Qxe5+ and 43.f6 + -) 42.Qh8+ Bg8 43.Qh4 followed by g6 and f6.

A.2.c) 40... Kf8 41.Qh6+ and 42.Qh4 again.

A.3) 39... Kf8 40.Qh8+

A.3.a) 40... Ke7 41.f6+ Kd7 (41... Kd6 42.Qf8+ recovers the piece with check or mates) 42.Bh3+ Be6 43.Qg7+ followed by Bxe6 and the king will go to the black king side to stop the checks.

A.3.b) 40... Bg8 41.Qh6+ Ke7 (41... Kf7 42.Qf6+ Ke8 43.Qxc6+ seems to win) 42.f6+ looks similar to A.3.a.

B) 38... Qh5+ 39.Kg3 and Black has lost a pawn and can't force perpetual.

May-19-13  Patriot: I'll go with 38.Qxg7 here.

38...Qh5+ 39.Kg3 fxg5 40.Bxg5+ looks risky for black.

38...Qxc1 39.Qxf6+ will at least win a piece back plus a pawn.

May-19-13  stst: Several developments, but all should lead to Hou's pawns promoting. One such: 38.Qxg7 Qxc1
39.Qxf6+ Kd7
40.Qxf7+ Ne7
41.g6 Qh6+
42.Kg1 Kd8
43.g7..... etc
May-19-13  stst: Viewing the actual game, Hou's path was too long!!
May-19-13  stst: As in the game, after
why not
40.g6 threatening QxB# next
IF 40...Qh6+
41.Bh3 to block off a perpetual, what's Black's best? say Qg7 for exchange? 42.QxN... the g6 P is not easily removed! as it's guarded by the f5 P, and soon gxB or Q sweeps Black's P on the A,B,C files, and the three White P will promote easily.
May-19-13  daladno: Got the idea and saw first moves surprisingly easily - maybe because general theme and actual game finish strikingly remind the famous combo from Botvinnik-Capablanca (1938).

Good help from the titans of the past in cracking the Sunday puzzle, if not the whole sequence (which is definitely beyond my capabilities)...:)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: What makes this puzzle so tricky is that it is hard to see white both winning enough material and keeping black from Qf4+ and a perpetual, as the black bishop on f7 prevents the white king escaping with Kh5.

I got 39 Qxf6+ Kf8 (to protect the bishop and keep the perpetual intact if 40 Qxc6 follows) 40 Qh8+ Bg8, below. (not the text 40Ke7 as this puts blacks king into a potential mating trap).

click for larger view

Now comes 41 Qh6+ Ke7 42 f6+ Ke8 43 f7+!? Bxf7 44 Qxc6+.

click for larger view

OK, now white is up a pawn with check. Now the goal is to win the e pawn with a minimal loss of tempi after 44Kf8. The way to do this is beyond my understanding of this part of the game.

May-19-13  zakkzheng: Hey Jim, Qf6 looks good
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
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