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Alexey Shirov vs Benoit Dagenais
Gatineau Shirov Simul (2012), Gatineau CAN, Feb-24
Alekhine Defense: Normal Variation (B02)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: What if Black tries a defense like 16...Qa1 17. Qb3 Qa6? Is there anything better than continuing the build-up with 18. Ne2 planning <19. Ra1>?
Jan-13-13  Yogi Darwin: Rravsham asks why 19. Qa4 and not Qb5? Because Qb5 is answered by Black's Qa1.
Jan-13-13  Patriot: This does look insane because I'm just not seeing a candidate that doesn't lose. White is down the exchange in an apparently wild opening.

15.Qxd3 Qxc1+ looks very bad.

15.Qb3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 Qd2+ 17.Kf3 b6 18.Qb5 looks very strong for white.

15.Qb3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 Qd2+ 17.Kf3 bxc6 18.dxc6 looks winning.

15.Qb3 b6 16.Qb5 Qxc1+ 17.Kf2 and I'm not sure what's going on with that.

I spent too much time looking at this and it is late. I'll just have to count this one as a zero.

Jan-13-13  newzild: I saw the possibility of allowing the sac with check, but could not see the ramifications and eventually gave up.

Rybka gives the following as the best line:

15. Qxd3 Qxc1+
16. Kf2 Kb8
17. Qb3 b6
18. Qa2 Qd2+
19. Nge2 Qa5
20. Qb1

White's advantage is +1.39, as he has oodles of compensation for the exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I saw the priciple idea.

Whites queen has to come to b3 for a mate attack.

It is not possible at move 15 as Backs Qa1 and Bd3 are too dangerous for the white king.

Therefor 15. Qxd3 (eliminating an attacking piece of Black) 15...Qxc1+ 16. Kf2, followed by 17. Qb3. (16...Qxf4+ 17. Nf3 is only helping white).

Pawn moves in front of the black King are only weakening the kings position of Black.

Exact line calculations was not done from my side. The brain has not stated up so early on a Sunday morning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: This game was published here:

The simplistic 15.Nb3 is met with 15... Qb1.

Jan-13-13  Dr. J: <newzild> What does Rybka think of 16...Qxb2+ 17 Nge2 b6 e.g., 18 Rb1 Qh2 19 Rb3 Qa5 20 Ra3 Qc5 21 Rxa7 e5?
Jan-13-13  goodevans: <Dr. J: <newzild> What does Rybka think of 16...Qxb2+ 17 Nge2 b6 e.g., 18 Rb1 Qh2 19 Rb3 Qa5 20 Ra3 Qc5 21 Rxa7 e5?>

I don't have Rykba to hand, but isn't <20.Nb5> an improvement for white over the immediate <20.Ra3>?

Jan-13-13  vinidivici: It doesnt look like a puzzle whatsoever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Black is up an exchange at the cost of development and a weak King position.

White Check Candidates: cxb7+ & Qg4+; White Capture Candidate: Qxd3;

(1) <15.cxb7+> 15... Kxb7 16.Qb3+ Kc7 17.Nge2 Rb8 18.Nb5+ Kd7 19.Qxd3 Looks strong for White, but the 'insanity' is missing

(2) <15.Qg4+> 15...e6 16.cxb7+ Kxb7 17.Nge2 h5 18.Qf3 Bxe2 19.Nxe2 Qa5+ 20.Kf2 Looks strong for White, but again, I don't see an 'insane' move

(3) <15.Qxd3> At least this looks sort of insane; 15...Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 Qxf4+ 17.Ngf3 g5 18.Ra1 g4 I'm missing something

PM: 15.Qxd3 was on the right track; I wonder why Black didn't play 16...Qxf4+ ?

FWIW: I hadn't seen this exchange offer coming out of an Alekhine's Defense; I had seen this type of exchange offer in an old Alekhine game resulting from a Nimzo-Indian...Interesting;

Finally, Shirov's subtle Queen maneuver is striking as Black is helpless; its strength eluded me :(

Jan-13-13  Rravshan: <Yogi Darwin> you are right man thanks.
Jan-13-13  mistreaver: White to play.Sunday.Insane. 15.?
Black has castled "right into it". Only white pieces that can move are pawn on c6, Queen and knight. I see a couple of candidates, now let's analyze.
a) 15 bxc6 (the most obvious) and now black has a choice: a1)15...Kxc6 16 Qb3+ Ka8 leaves white with nothing
b)15 Qg4+ on first sight i thought this gives some benefits, but now i am not so convinced. 15... e6 (or perhaps f5) and it is hard for white to go anywhere. I don't see any further ideas, this one is too much for me.I looked at Qb3 but it looks a bit crazy. Time to see what Shirov did here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Over-done me use queen too to joggle bishop aid in full complement queen has captured not so strong fort i catch 15.Qxd3 ignoble trench king to flee in f2 when white can in effect raid queenside ergo knight wangle in e2 mega compensation is at timber have too rooks booted though, re team in first d3 the sacred way it is often amusing to free the back row hat in queenxc1 foal in d4 ogle stay put for now in heading arose a queen 15.Qxd3 addendum it book in one dagger 15...qxc1+ locks the boot in kf2 backdoor emigrate either bind single g6 or kb8 fishing for bait yet in a bob nibbles now man g6 a strip enough has been done already since good corridor king up cant be touched black is left in jam dutifuls you bail out g6 leeway er I seeking b8 as have in memory it is blew away in read the script you re diverse a 8b in us tell it down to the wire head a mission 17.qb3 threaten in just about b6 l0, wiggle c1 method in clear blacks queen trapped after c1 h1 whence ne2 or f3 oh ducks in back call it offside white free invade queen in a6 etc, g6 loosen also 17.nge2 hive engage it her c1 you lesson in strength it oblige off h1 to in be a capture 17...Qxb2 gives right roob1 ie c8 lumber thy queen I b7 in pepper king a6 raid looks set tee off drive in the fair-way it is h1 gap i lead in c1 me back in am clinching 17...Qc1xh1 18.qua3 ko a7 lag in b3 18...b6 19.qa4 a5 20.qb5 am see in would finish him off king queen though you need er thirteen mirror.
Jan-13-13  Patriot: I think the biggest problem I had with this position is evaluation. After looking at 15.Qxd3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2, I thought 16...Qxb2+ was looking bad for white materially when 17.Nge2 helped white develop and now 18.Rb1 is threatened.

And on 15.Qb3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 Qd2+, I thought 17.Nge2 Bxe2 18.Nxe2 was taking away from white's development in a much needed area of the board to compensate for material loss.

Some of it WAS miscalculation. But it is really hard for me to trust development over material when there is no clear way of at least gaining the initiative. I kept seeing black gaining pawns with no clear plan of attack. Although the execution of Qb3-Qb5-Qa6 was incorrect on my part, I was at least happy to see that idea.

Jan-13-13  Patriot: The second paragraph reflects what I was thinking last night, but black doesn't have time for 17...Bxe2 since 18.Qxb7#. I evaluated 18.Nxe2 as "bad for white" and didn't look for anything better. Since 18.Nxe2 was "bad", I needed to look for other candidates for white and that's when the obvious 18.Qxb7# should appear.
Jan-13-13  snakebyt: Two first moves for white that put blkK into check c6Xb7+ and Qg4+ don't yield promising results for white. So I tried 15 c6Xb7 KXb7 16 Nc6! which forks blk Rook and Pawn. The nice thing about that is Wht Q is still ready to pounce. But after that it's still a crazy (insane) game. I considered taking the Bishop 15 QXd3 but why even take it? Anybody see a win after 15 c6Xb7 KXb7 16 Nc6! ?
Jan-13-13  kaingero: The idea used by white reminds me of the Immortal game of the great Anderssen.
Jan-13-13  karnak64: Really insane. When I saw the position, I was less interested in the winning move than in how this all came about. Fascinating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I am no Shirov but of course everyone know he loves to sacrifice, and has already sacked an exchange. White is better developed and might be able to trap black's queen or open up the king.

15 cb7+ Kxb7 16 Qb3+ Ka8 17 Nc6 Rc8 is nothing

15 Qb3 threatens Qxb7# but 15...Qxc1+ 16 Kf2 Qd2+ 17 Nge2 b6 and 18 Qa4 or Qb5 are refuted by 18...Qa5

So 15 Qxd3 Qxc1+ 16 Kf2 and white has some threats - 17 Qb3 b6 18 Qb5 and Qa6+ or maybe 17 Qf5+, 18 Nb5 and 19 c7. meanwhile 16...Qxb2+ 17 Nge2 and Rb1 only helps white's attack (but this needs analysis).

16...g6, 16...e6, or 16...e5 all look plausible (if 16...b6 maybe 17 Nge2 Qxh1 18 Qa3 a5 19 Qb3 kc7 20 Nb5+ works), then 17 Qb3 18 b6 18 Qb5 Qa1 19 Nge2 Qa5 defends. So here too is 17 Nge2 better? 17...Qxb2 18 Rb1 traps the queen and 17...Qxh1 18 Qb3 b6 19 Qa4 a5 20 Qb5 and black has no defenders that can help.

Maybe black can try 16...Qxb2+ 17 Nge2 Qa2 but 18 Qf5+ Kb8 19 Nb5 threatening 20 c7+ looks decisive. In all Qxb2 lines the threats of Rb1, cb7+ and Nc6 seem to win and black's extra material is also useless.

Jan-13-13  snakebyt: I can't stop looking at this. So Shirov may have decided upon the b file Queen attack that required the Blk Q to be suckered away from the a file. Taking the e4 bishop and subsequent sacs keeps the wht K in place which is what is needed to execute the strike. This makes sense. Supposing that this is what he did, then I get it now. Wow.
Jan-13-13  James D Flynn: Black is the exchange up. Both sides K-side pieces are undeveloped. Whites K remains in the center and cannot castle until his N on g1 moves and the Black B on d3 is no longer covering the f1 square, whereas Blacks K has already castled into a Q-side with a broken pawn cover. The Black B on d3 is en prise but if 15.Qxd3 Qxc1+ and the White K loses the castling privilege but may be able to castle by hand. Candidates 15.Qxd3, Qb3,Nge2, cxb7+, Qg4+.
15.Qxd3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 Qxb2+(if g6 17.Qb3 b6 18.Qa4 a5 19.Qb5 Kc7 20 Qa6 Rb8 21.Qa7+ Kc8 22.Qd7#)17.Ne2 g6 18.Rb1 Qa2 19.Rxb7 Bg7 20.Nb5 Rf8 21.Nxa7+ Kd8 22.c7+ Kd7 23.c8=Q# In this line Black can sac his Q for R on move 18 or N on move 21 postponing the mate but with hopeless deficit in material and the K remains under attack. 15.Qb3 Qxc1+ 16.Kf2 b6 17.Qa4 a5 18.Qb5 Qxc4 19.Qxb6 Qa6 and the defense holds, the White Q must either exchange or retreat and Black emerges a R up. 15.Ne2 Bxc4 16.O-O Bxd5 17.cxb7+ Bxb7 and Black has eliminated the threatening c6 pawn and brought another piece to the defense of his K. 15.cxb7+ Kxb7 16.Qb3+ Ka8 17.Ne2 Bxe2 18.Kxe2 Rb8 19.Nb5 Rb7 28.Rd1 nad White has mobilized his pieces but remains the exchange down with insufficient compensation.
Jan-13-13  talsqueen: This doesnt qualify as insane! at the most, one can appreciate White locking up Black's queen in his dungeons, but apart from that............?
Jan-13-13  LoveThatJoker: I spent a lot of time on this puzzle. I saw what was actually played in the game continuation (and evaluated as good for White) but didn't feel that it was puzzle-like.

Of course, a position is a position and should be evaluated based on its own/objective merits; but as a puzzle of the <CG Daily Puzzle> ilk, in my opinion, this one fails miserably.

<CG> has been on a good run, however. So even though my opinion is so, I must congratulate them for the excellent work they have been doing on the daily puzzle lately! :)


Jan-09-16  Yggdrasil44: After

15.Qxd3 Qxc1+
16.Kf2 Kb8
17.Qb3 b6

the second rook sacrifice with

18.Nge2!! (instead of Rybka's recommendation 18.Qa2 in newzild's comment above)

is possible too and it is indeed the best option. After

18...Qxh1 19.Qa4!

is black king helpless against attacking white pieces, for example

19...Rc8 20.Qa6 Rc7 21.Nb5

Declining the sacrifice loses quickly too, for example

18...Qd2 19.Ra1 Rc8 20.Nb5 a5 21.Nxd6! Qb4 22.Qxb4 axb4 23.Nxc8

(analysis with Houdini)

Jan-09-16  Yggdrasil44: Btw. if

15.Qxd3 Qxc1+
16.Kf2 Qxf4+
17.Ngf3 g5

(suggested by morfishine above)

18.Qb3 and mate in 8 (Houdini)

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