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Vladimir Bagirov vs Andres Vooremaa
Keres Memorial 3rd (1981), Tallinn URS, rd 14, Mar-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Variation (D61)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-10-08  AnotherNN: Jan-10-08 Amarande said, "I considered Nf4, then discarded it as I did not quite see how Black was winning after PxN. In particular, I'm starting to get murky on whether Black can win if 33 gxf4 gxf4 34 Rg3?! fxg3 35 fxg3. Black is then the Exchange up, but cannot seem to force anything more than possibly the exchange of Queens via Qc2 ... can he win the ending, considering that his passed Pawn is securely blocked? Perhaps, but the conversion of this advantage seems to be far from easy."

Oh no, after 35. fxg3, White is easily finished - e.g., 35. ..Qf3 and his goose is cooked.

Jan-10-08  mcgarrett: 34.Ree1 Qg6+ 35.Kh1 Rc2 36.Qb1 Rd3
Jan-10-08  Alphastar: I think today's puzzle is straightforward. 1. ..Nf4! threatening Qg2# forces 2. gxf4 gxf4, when white only has more problems.

3. Ree1 Qg6+ brings us to a critical situation.

I think white can resign after 4. Kf1? f3.

A better try might be 4. Kh2. I think the winning move is now 4. ..Rc2, when 5. Rg1 leaves black an exchange up after 5. ..Rxb2 6. Rxg6 fxg6. On the other hand, 5. Qb1 Rxf2+ mates.

Leaves us with one alternative, 4. Kh1. I think we should play 4. ..Qh7 when white cannot allow Qxh3+, so he either plays 5. Kh2 Rc2 6. Qb1 Rxf2+ and black wins, or 5. Kg2 Rc2 6. Qb1 f3+ 7. Kxf3 Qh3+ and I trust white will be mated.

Time to check.


It seems my ideas were pretty much correct, yet there seem to be so many different ways to win.

Jan-10-08  DarthStapler: I gave up on Nf4 because I didn't see the f3 idea
Jan-10-08  znprdx: yup this is as sweet as it gets - Nf4 - the rook has nowhere to go: f3 is the killer threat. No equivocation possible - as even the best defense(f3)creates a unexpected secondary threat. I was only looking at Nxh3+ when I timed out. A good lesson: always look for the changing board. Qb6, so elegant and efficient.
Jan-10-08  johnlspouge: Even material, but the Black Rs on open c and d files, the Q on the open a8-h1 diagonal, and the proximity of the Ne6 and Pg4 to the Black K-side suggest the following sham sacrifice:

32...Nf4 33.gxf4 gxf4 34.Rd2 [or Rd1] Qg6+ 35.Kf1 f3 and # follows.

33.f3 [to prevent ...Qg7#] <REMOVE THE SUPPORT> Qb6 <PIN>, eventually winning the Re3, as only K, Q, Ra1 can defend Re3, while Q, 2 Rs, and N can attack it without loss of tempo [...Rc3, Rdd3, and Nd5]

34.Rae1 loses R for N without compensation.

Time to peek. So, White went for the alternative line. Time to check the kibitzing.

35.Kh1 or Kh2 looked obviously weak to me. Let's see.

34.Rd1 Qg6+ 35.Kh1 [or Kh2] Rc2 36.Rg1 [Qc1 37.Rxf2 looks like curtains] Qxg1# and Rxb2 yields the exchange. Thus,

34.Rd2 Qg6+ 35.Kh1 f3 36.Rg1 Rd1 <PIN and ...Qg2#> 34.Rd2 Qg6+ 35.Kh2 f3 36.Rg1 fxe2 and the queening threat yields at least the exchange.

Jan-10-08  Jesspatrick: The conclusion to this game is true irony. White's 32.g3 was no doubt intended to prevent Black's N from going to f4. Not only did this measure fail, it made the move decisive. For example, the game could have continued 32.Qe2 Nf4 33.Qg4 with an edge to Black and lots of chess left.
Jan-10-08  JG27Pyth: Totally missed this one... and no one even complaining that it's too hard for "medium" :(
Jan-10-08  sotoohy: The game shows declining the N offer loses. People here correctly established 33.gxf5 gxf5 34.Ree1 Qg6+ 35.Kh1 Rc2 36.Qb1 as the only reply that doesn't immediately lose for white. After 36.Qb1, I think the most precise continuation is 36..Qe6. Then 37.Qxc2? Qxh3+ 38. Kg1 f3 and mate next move. Hence,36.Qb1 Qe6 37.Kg2 Qc6+ 38.Kg1 (only move)..f3 and now the threat of Qg6+ forces either 39.Kh2 Rxf2+ 49.Kg1 Qg7# or 39.Kh1 Qe6 40.Kh2 Rxf2+ 41.Kg1 Rg7+ 42.Kf1 Qxh3 and mate next move. The key move to win quickly in those lines is 36..Qe6. Keeping the black Q on the 6th rank gives it access to checks along the long white diagonal, as well as on g6.
Jan-10-08  znprdx: < Alphastar:> In the interest of consistency and clarity might I suggest you at least post the actual move numbers as is the convention on this site. (I think others have suggested this to you?) You might notice that I add in [brackets] for the piece captures – this makes it a piece of cake to follow a line visually. Here is my suggested edit of your earlier post; > I think today's puzzle is straightforward. 32.. ..Nf4! threatening Qg2# forces 33. g3xf4[N] g5xf4, when white only has more problems. If 34. R[e]e1 Qg6+ White can resign after 35. Kf1? f3 or 35.Kh1? Qh7 etc. (I like ...Rd6 36.Kh2 Qe6! zugswang) This leaves 35. Kh2 and...Rc2 wins (36.Qb2 Rxf2+) If 36. Rg1...Rxb2 [Q] 37.Rxg6[Q] f7xg6[R] up exchange. < Of course the fine point of this problem is to consider the immediate 33. f3 (orf4) defense....
Jan-10-08  whiteshark: After a while <32...Nf4> came up as most promising move. Direct #threat on g2. After 33.gxf4 gxf4 it looks good for black with ...Qg6+ or ...f3. After 33.f3 I planed ...Nxh3+, but the actual move is much better. Didn't calculate much further...
Jan-10-08  parmetd: I don't see anything here for black to win....

Wow nf4? how ? And why does not play gxf4!! Either this is above or occam's razor is above the players.

Jan-10-08  Larsker: OK - one of those puzzles I don't understand even AFTER having seen the solution - and we're only Thursday. Oh my.
Jan-10-08  kevin86: I missed this one. I had no idea how a win is even possible.

I guess I'm like the Cavaliers-good one day,awful the next.

Jan-10-08  YouRang: I missed it too, but I'm impressed by anyone who looks at the 32...? position and foresees blacks g5 pawn becoming the key to the attack after the knight sac, in addition to the queen and rook coordinating on the g6-c2 diagonal.

My first idea was the obvious ...Rd1+ with ...Rh1# to follow, assuming I can somehow deflect the rook on a1 (which is preventing this brilliant attack).

I considered 32.Ra8, but this doesn't work because 32...Rxa8 and my d-file rook is pinned! I found no good way to proceed with this idea, but I was sure it had to be part of the answer (and I was sure wrong).

I did peek at 32...Nf4, as it does carry an instant threat while capturing it opens the g-file (if gxf4) for Qg6+. But it seemed like it would be too slow and there were too many black options for my visualization ability to keep up with.

Good puzzle, but a bit Fridayish IMO. :-)

Jan-10-08  mworld: Thanks Sotoothy - i was having a hard time seeing this, and I believe you are right.
Jan-10-08  adantra: hey, Re1 is not a valid move!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: You all might enjoy knowing that Vooremaa was a real troublemaker at this tournament Tallinn 1981. Vooremaa finished last in a 16 player field, winning only two games--and these were against Bagirov who finished 4th and Bronstein who finished 2d just behind Tal.
Jan-10-08  zenpharaohs: Well I missed this one big time. I looked at Nd4 and wanted to make Qg6+ happen, but for some reason (obviously inexplicable now) I just did not see that. I was looking right at it, and looking for it, and I didn't see it.
Jan-10-08  porgue: I considered nf4, but deemed it unsound because of insufficient analysis. Pretty cool move though

<the Cavaliers-good one day,awful the next. >

being a cavs fan i must admit that is painstakingly true! hehe

Jan-10-08  blair45: < dzechiel: Black to move. Material even. "Medium" difficulty. Tonight my friend and fellow chess player, Raffi is visiting. As we looked at this position, it was Raffi who spotted>


Raffi?! My daughter loves Raffi. We went to a Raffi concert in 1986. Never saw such a fan club! By the way, I found 32. ...Nf4 too.

Jan-10-08  dzechiel: <blair45: < dzechiel: Black to move. Material even. "Medium" difficulty. Tonight my friend and fellow chess player, Raffi is visiting. As we looked at this position, it was Raffi who spotted>


Raffi?! My daughter loves Raffi. We went to a Raffi concert in 1986.>

Almost certainly a different "Raffi". This is Raffi Codilian, the principal engineer for Western Digital, and who has like 30+ patents in hard drive technology to his credit. You can see his picture in many of the tournament results on my homepage.

Jan-10-08  aazqua: That's great. He probably has almost as much money as the guy who invented the spreadsheet. I'm not sure why so many people missed f3 - isn't it obvious after the possible knight sac that the natural theme is to remove the rook and push the pawn forward to trap the king?
Jan-10-08  GannonKnight: JG27Pyth: Totally missed this one... and no one even complaining that it's too hard for "medium" :(

Me, too. I had no clue. :-(

Jan-10-08  Terry McCracken: 32..Nf4!! was the first move to catch my eye, it's very forcing.

Sorry, but I thought this position was straight foward.

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