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Viswanathan Anand vs Evgeny Bareev
Linares (1993), Linares ESP, rd 12, Mar-12
French Defense: Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



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Given 40 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-04-07  Kleve: This was tough... But wonderfully instructive. The solution was unusually quiet for a Tuesday. I failed utterly... I kept trying to find a way to open up the diagonal for the bishop; didn't think that the pawn could do the same work!
Dec-04-07  alan11: There is a great tactical book called "Alekhine's Block" that is a collection of these types of sacrifices on f6, g6, h6 (and there third rank counterparts.) After going through that book, it becomes natural to look for this powerful tactic. I think that's why this seemingly difficult puzzle got Tuesday billing. I'm not a great puzzler on this site typically, but I got this immediately. It's almost a gimme when the queen is on the kingside, or can get to the kingside, and the f7 (or f2) pawn can be blocked.
Dec-04-07  watchchess79: Can anyone please give the winning line for white for 30. ..Qe7?
Dec-04-07  MaxxLange: <"Alekhine's Block"> a good book. It's mostly just games (sometimes positions) featuring this method.

The canonical version happens on f6, especially when a piece is just sacrificed there without even capturing anything, and, like here, it works by preventing the f-pawn from moving.

Dec-04-07  CaptGeorge: <dzechiel> Thanks! I'm learning. I sure wish I'd had this kind of "chess" resource back in the 70's...Maybe I would have won more games. Great site!
Dec-04-07  YouRang: Very good puzzle (perhaps a tad harder than most Tuesdays)!

I found that the moves I wanted to make, such as 31. e5 (threat: Qh8#) and 31. h4 (chasing the bishop defending the g-file), were all effectively countered by 31...f6!

Well, my rook wasn't doing anything, why not use it to block black's f-pawn? After all, that pawn on f7 is really black's main problem, keeping the king trapped on the g/h files, apart from his defenders, so it makes sense to keep it there!

We surrender the exchange if ...Bxf6, but 32. fxf6 puts a murderous pawn on f6 which is all the queen needs to deliver mate at g7.

But if the bishop doesn't take it, well, now black's bishop must flee leaving a Q & R & B bearing down on an unguarded king. One almost need not analyze further.

Dec-04-07  zenpharaohs: I accidentally ruined the problem for myself by opening it in Shredder with the analysis turned on.
Dec-04-07  Alphastar: I agree that this might have been a harder than usual tuesday puzzle.

However, I think if you got the first move you solved it already (which is not too hard). It's either Qxg5+ Kh7 Rh6# next, or Bd2 when the bishop's absence makes e6 a total killer move (also because f7-f6 is blocked).

Dec-04-07  Phoenix: In addition to the 19.Rf6!! in Fischer vs Benko, 1963 there is also an identical sac on the same move played by Tal when he was a little squirt: Tal vs Leonov, 1949
Dec-04-07  kevin86: I missed this one:I saw e6,but that is parried by f6.

Not a good start for me :(

Dec-04-07  znprdx: Rf6 was the icing on the cake. Here Anand's winning combination begins (13 ply earlier) with f5 - where the plan to sac the King Bishop is indefensible. BTW (as I've pointed out a few times) the brilliant move in the Fischer-Benko game was not so much the blocade at f6 - a fairly basic strategy for rook lifts - but the quiet knight retreat. The Tal-Leonov game cited (thanx for the memory<Phoenix:>) is a whole other dimension - it is awesome: he actually withdraws the rook!! Note: 42-yr-old Bareev (#41/128 players) just upset Grishchuk(#9 rated) at the World Cup in Rd 3 Blitz playoff.
Dec-04-07  tatarch: After 30...Qe7, doesn't 31.Rf6 still win it the same way?
Dec-04-07  dabearsrock1010: i had e6 but its no good
Dec-04-07  dzechiel: <tatarch: After 30...Qe7, doesn't 31.Rf6 still win it the same way?>

No, after 31...Bxf6 32 exf6 Qe1# is mate (the point behind 30...Qe7).

Dec-04-07  InspiredByMorphy: 28. ...h4?? was terrible.
Dec-04-07  Civhai: I knew this problem already, so it wasn't very difficult for me to find the solution.^^ I didn't get it the first time I saw it, but I've become much stronger since then so maybe I'd see it today.
Dec-04-07  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, White initiates a winning obstruction combination with 31. Rf6! , breaking communications between Queen and Bishop and opening up the weakened castled position for a mating attack. See <Random Visitor>'s post for details.

A key turning point in the game is the decoy sham sacrifice 26. Bxf5!, which (as <Maxx Lange> notes) wins back the pawn sacrificed one move earlier (i.e. 25. f5! ) with advantage. This is because of the threat of a discovered check snagging the Queen after 26...gxf5? 27. Qg3+! Kh8 28. e6+ f6 29. QxQ .

Bareev probably might have done better than 28...h5?, allowing 29. Bxh5 to . However, with Anand enjoying a space advantage and a King-side attacking initiative, the task of defending the Black position would not have been pleasant.

P.S.: Anyone care to venture where Bareev made his decisive mistake? Can Black hold the position after 26. Bxf5 ?

Dec-04-07  TheaN: 2/2

Nice combo here by Anand. Going after the logical idea of wasting the opponent's defending possibilities, White can play 31.Rf6!! to disable Black's only defence.

31....Bxf6 32.exf6 with Qg5+ and Qg7#, if Black gives his Queen for Pf6 the same thing happens with the Bishop.

Black can't do nothing as Rf6 disables the defence of the Bishop by interposing the d8-h4 diagonal.

31....Bd2 (any other square COULD be met by a direct capture, but White shouldn't!) 32.e6 with the idea of Qh8+!, Rh6+ with double check and Rh8#. It's this final pattern that's so nice. Take note that 32....Qxf6 doesn't work (a Bishop and a Rook for the Queen, might be playable), as the mate still follows.

Dec-04-07  patzer2: <28. ...h4?? was terrible.> Perhaps 28...h5? was even worse. Seriously, though, did Black have a good saving move at 28....?
Dec-04-07  newzild: I thought this was very tough for a Tuesday. It took me nearly a minute to spot 31.Rf6, and even now I couldn't give you an exact winning line after 31...Bd2. I only saw 31.Rf6 after noting the position's resemblance to an old Fischer-Benko game, where Bobby also planted a rook on f6. Good puzzle! Much more fun than the easy ones last week.
Dec-04-07  SBGiffy: What was wrong with 22...dxc4 ? Black's given the chance to make his bad bishop into a pretty good bishop and he turns it of those 'grandmaster' moves I don't understand.
Dec-04-07  SAINTAMANT: After Rf6 Black has no adequate defense or attack potential. Rf6 BXf6 32. PXf6. Black has no energy to respone to this new problem and threat of checkmate on h7
Dec-04-07  YouRang: <SBGiffy: What was wrong with 22...dxc4 ? Black's given the chance to make his bad bishop into a pretty good bishop and he turns it of those 'grandmaster' moves I don't understand.>

Central control. Black's "good bishop" won't last long after

23. Be4 Bxe4 <or else nasty threats after Ra1>

24. Qxe4 <and now white's queen controls the long diagonal from her a very strong perch at e4, and white still threatens Ra1.>

By capturing with 22...bxc4, black's d-pawn maintains controls of the key e4 square. The white bishop must retreat to c2, and Ra1 doesn't have any teeth without support from the bishop or queen.

Dec-04-07  lew morski: First, I thought 31. e6 was good enough, but here is the reply: 31...f6 and nothing really happens. Then I reminded myself about 31. Rf6!, thanks to remarkable Bobby Fischer, who did the same against Benko.

On a Friday, someone asked 'chessgames' why puzzles are so easy that week. Well, I guess they are not gonna be so easy nomore. Good!

Dec-04-07  GannonKnight: So simple and elegant and yet so difficult. I missed it!
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