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Viktor Arsentievich Goglidze vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Moscow (1935), Moscow URS, rd 9, Feb-27
Gruenfeld Defense: Three Knights Variation (D90)  ·  0-1



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Given 10 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-13-11  estrick: 26 ...Black to play is #144 in Alburt's Chess Training Pocket Book
Feb-13-11  sevenseaman: Excellent tactical stroke. Sadly I didn't see it as I missed the significance of the pawn on e4.

It could be more than a Monday puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Plenty of ideas for Black, but the sequence has to be just right. I'm thinking <24...Bxa3.> After 25.Qxc2 Rxc2 26.Bd1 Rc3 I think Black can hold the extra piece, so recapture with <25.Rxa3>.

Now <25..>Qxe2 26.Qxb6 Rab8!>, and after the queen moves the back rank weakness can finally be exploited with <27...Qxf1+ 28.Kxf1> and the rooks mate as Black pleases.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Attacked today's Thursday puzzle as a positional problem, and correctly played guess the move from 24...Bxa3! until the end of the game.

However, I didn't see the mate possibility until after 27. Qd6 which allows the mate-in-three starting with 27...Qxf1+ .

White's game takes a turn for the worse with 23. Qb1? allowing 23...Qc2 to (-1.92 @ 30 depth, Komodo 10).

Instead, 23. Qd2 = (-0.21 @ 33 depth, Stockfish 5SE) holds it about level.

Earlier in the opening, instead of 6. Qb3, I prefer 6. e4 as in Onischuk vs K W Troff, 2015

Aug-25-16  mel gibson: I saw this but DR4 64 bit buys more time with
24 Ba3 Bxa3
25 Bxa6 Qxb1
26 Rfxb1 Rxa6
27 Rxa3 score for white = -4.01
Aug-25-16  Razgriz: Almost didn't get it. The back rank mate threat was there. However, white's darksquared bishop could be interference. I then realized that pieces should go off first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

White threatens Qxb6.

After 24... Qxe2 25.Qxb6 Bxa6 26.Rxa6 White's back rank becomes seriously weak. For example, 26... Rab8 27.Qd6 Qxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Rb(c)1+ 29.Ke2 Rc(b)2#. However, after 24... Qxe2 White can play 25.Bxf8.

Therefore, 24... Bxa3:

A) 25.Rxa3 Qxe2

A.1) 26.Qxb6 Qxf1+ as above.

A.2) 26.Re1 Qb5 wins a piece (27.Rb3 B(Q)xb3).

B) 25.Qxc2 Rxc2

B.1) 26.Rxa3 Rxe2 wins a piece.

B.2) 26.Bd1 Rc3 wins a piece.

C) 25.Bd1 Qxb1 26.Rxb1 Rab8 wins a piece.

D) 26.Qxb6 Qxe2 wins a piece (27.Rxa3 transposes to A.1).

Aug-25-16  YouRang: Thursday 24...?

click for larger view

This is about as easy as it gets on a Thursday.

The point is that black is attacking both of white's bishops. If black takes the one on a3 with <24...Bxa3>,

click for larger view

...then black cannot both (1) recapture on a3, and (2) save Be2, hence black wins a piece.

Perhaps white's only real try is <25.Qxc2>, but then <25...Rxc2> and the Be2 is still under attack.

I think that's about it.

Aug-25-16  diagonalley: the right theme but failed to spot the killer move 26....QR-N1 (which botvinnik undoubtedly saw in a microsecond)
Aug-25-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: You know how we say that back-rank mating attacks look like they're straight out of Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess?

Well, this one doesn't. :)

Aug-25-16  AlicesKnight: Saw all the relevant moves but got them in the wrong order, which led to no more than equality. Not awake....
Aug-25-16  Stalwart: Viktor was being cheeky offering his bishop for the knight instead of hiding or protecting his white bishop.

Aug-25-16  dnp: rather easy for a Thur.
I think YouRang is right [always good analysis from him]Qxc2, better than being mated. What I really enjoy about Botvinnik's games is the simplicity and logicality of his moves.
Aug-25-16  wooden nickel: That's not fair... I was simply trying to win some kind of exchange in vain :-) Very aesthetical play, especially 27... Qxf7+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In a previous post, I mentioned 23. Qd2 is an improvement which would have saved White's game.

However, after 23. Qd2 Qc2 (diagram below) the defense is difficult:

click for larger view

The only saving move here (diagram above) is 24. Bc1! =. All other possibilies lose.

For example, attempting to keep the Bishops on the second rank with 24. Rfd1? (diagram below)

click for larger view

loses to a Rook fork after 24...Qxd2 25. Rxd2 Bb4 26. Rdd1 Rc2 (-3.64 @ 19 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

After the game saving moves 23. Qd2 Qc2 24. Bc1 = (diagram below),

click for larger view

play might continue 24... Bd6 (24... Qxd2 25. Bxd2 Rc2 26. Rfd1 Nd7 27. Bf1 Kg7 28. g3 Be7 29. Kg2 Nf6 30. Be1 =) 25. Qxc2 Rxc2 26. Bd1 = (-0.15 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 15) with a level game.

Aug-25-16  Patriot: I solved this only because it's a puzzle. I didn't have a clue a combination was even there with exception there are mutually hanging pieces. The key is the e4 pawn.

After a good 5-10 minutes I saw the whole combo.

Aug-25-16  YouRang: *sigh* I see now why I thought this puzzle was so easy. I had it in my head somehow that my (black) Nb6 was guarded. (Blaming it on lack of coffee again.)

After <24...Bxa3 25.Rxa3 Qxe2>

click for larger view

I thought the combination was over, but of course white now has <26.Qxb6>, which evens up the material.

But here's where this puzzle earns its "Thursdayness": <26...Rab8!>

click for larger view

Any effort by white to save the queen results in a nice queen-sac mate, e.g. <27.Qd6 Qxf1+! 28.Kxf1 Rb1+ 29.Ke2 Rc2#>

click for larger view

The subtle hero of the whole line is black's Pe4 that blocks the king's only escapes. Seeing this from move 24 is really good chess.

Failing to notice that your knight isn't guarded is poor chess which generally leads to unpleasant surprises. This is the rare case where such an oversight might just turn out rosy!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen sac leads to a steamroller mate with the rooks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I liked the line discussed back in 2006, 24...Bxa3 25 Bg4.

click for larger view

Black has 25...f5 but 25...Bb2 is a very clever response, plus with a lot to look at still.

click for larger view

Aug-25-16  AlicesKnight: <AlicesKnight>: Saw all the relevant moves but got them in the wrong order - see also for "not necessarily in the right order"....
Aug-25-16  Howard: Wonder how these various notes compare with those in the tournament book. I have it at home---remind me to look at it tonight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: would white have been better with 24)..Qxb6 since he could have kept both rooks on first rank?
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: sorry meant 25)Qxb6
Aug-25-16  TheBish: This one caused me to stretch my brain! I was about to give up when I saw the weak bank rank theme, with Black's two active rooks and the White queen's absence from the defense at the end. This one felt more like a Friday. I think it's the multiple possible captures to consider, as well as the veiled mating pattern at the end, that make this one somewhat difficult.
Aug-25-16  drollere: material is equal, black has the edge in space; white's passed Q pawn is probably more threatening than black's R pawn.

Ba3 offers to trade Be2 for Nb6 and probably trade off black's potent B at f8. if black initiates, it pulls the QR off the first rank, which offers leverage.

i opted for:

24. ... Bxa3
25. Rxa3 Qxe2
26. Qxb6 R(a)b8
27. Qd6 Bc4 etc.

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