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Sergio Slipak vs Fernando Braga
Clarin GP Final (1998), Villa Gesell ARG, rd 7
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Variation (D61)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <F6> is the key yes my lord I fan obtuse rot qh3! Ello ding QGD in gentle early it explode in tie-back rook b1 c1 ratify queen in h4 any plug for 27 qf2 sock it to him?
Feb-24-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Limpin Kt> Thanks for your comments.

It turned out that my line B (which Crafty went straight into) was easier than for me to win than the line I mentioned in at the end of the first post. Crafty improves with 30... Bf1! which should still be won by white with correct play.


Does anybody else have a theory about today's puzzle? Why would CG pick this game?

On the face of it this game wouldn't even make the cutting room floor.

1.Games have a single correct answer.

2.Right answer = mate or won material

<1> This game has many correct answers, but the move played was not one of them, in fact white is way ahead 9.49 (an enormous lead), 29Nxg7 reduces the lead to 3.55 30Qd4 slashes the lead even more 2.07 and its not until black blunders 36Bc8+ that white can win....

<2>Correct answer= well the the text answer = nothing. No material, in fact white is down a piece. Mate? nope. Whites moves do nothing to force mate, almost the opposite in fact. Black blunders 8 moves after 29Nxg7 & that's how white wins.

Does anybody else think this a bit strange?

I can't be the only one to see it, can I?

Feb-24-12  Marmot PFL: 29 Rxf6 gf then either 30 Qxd5 or g4 would have been my choice in this complex position, though I couldn't back it up in much detail.

30 Qxd5 threatens Ne7+ winning the queen, which has no moves to escape. If 30...Kh8 31 Bh6 with many threats.

30 g4 protects the knight and forces Qh3. This attack f3 but after Qd4 white threatens Qxf6 and mate on g7.

I have several good memories of winning games with exchange sacs like this on a N defending its king, and will usually play it given the chance.

Feb-24-12  BOSTER: No doubt that black position is lost because black queen is almost trapped, and white knight has the best position on f5.

And another reason is black has a bishop which can not protect all weaknesses on dark squares.

But the win is not so fast how was described by <Ray Keene> or <dzechiel>.

After 29.Rxf6 game can continue like this 29...gxf6 30.g4 Qg6
31.N e7+ Kg7
32.Nxg6 fxg6 and black can continue fighting.

I would play 29.Nxg7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Memethecat> I've always got a theory. In fact, I've got a pocketful. Let me have a rummage in there and see what I can come up with...

In the early days, the good folks at were idealistic. You might call them dreamers - a race of godlike creatures inhabiting a silicon olympus. They had this vision of a community of chess players, where the grizzled greybeards would help those with unlined faces and buttocks like ripe apples.

And in those hopeful days, the moderators would indeed walk amongst their flock. They would speak to us, as the ancient deities would oft-times commune with humans. It has even been rumoured that they did take the form of bulls and goats and impregnate human women. But I never held truck with <those> stories.

It was a time of peace, and of new beginnings. So it was held that time that each puzzle of the day would have only one solution. And that the game continuation would be that one solution. Or else the notes to the game would tell the truth. And so it was written in the FAQ.

But there was a flaw with their plan. A fatal flaw, as there always is when someone tries to build a utopia.

Who can know what started the change? Perhaps we started to outgrow our mentors. Or maybe they simply ran out of puzzles with just one solution. Boredom. A celestial civil war. We may never know.

Then came a darker time. The moderators walked less and less upon the face of the forum. For they had discovered a different pastime. Instead of a puzzle with a single truth, they had learned to embrace a multiplicity of truths. Complex positions where each side has a myriad of options. Far more interesting than straight-forward "insert tab A into slot B" sorts of puzzles.

And then we were no longer disciples of their teachings, where the object of each puzzle was to discover for ourselves what the moderators had already found. Now we were the teachers. The conversation, the kibitzing, the chatter - it had become more than the game, more than the "truth". We and the moderators were discovering things together.

And now they offer us positions, like the gods making offerings to their followers. They are saying: "Here, here is a story. Here is a position. There is no right or wrong here. Make your own truths from it. Teach yourselves, teach us, explore. Write history, here and now, in this place."

Chessgames is not a library of puzzles. These are fragments of real games, full of man's hope and ingenuity and weaknesses. And the ultimate truth, perhaps, is there is no such thing as a single right answer. Life (and chess) is far more complex than that.

And ultimately there is great beauty in that complexity. If you can reduce something down to a single truth, then there is nothing more to learn, no mystery, no sense of wonder. Give me variety and imprecision and chaos instead.

The only problem is ... while these godlike beings were taking their own personal journey of discovery ...

... someone forgot to rewrite the FAQ.


Feb-24-12  Yodaman: It would have been nice if this puzzle started a move earlier. It is very easy to get the general idea of the solution as is, but if the puzzle began was a move earlier, I don't think the knight sacrifice would have jumped out at me so quickly.
Feb-24-12  inmate5: Hi LTJ, there is an enjoyable repetition in your line in response to viking78's ♘h6 variation on white's 31st move:) Only after the return of the king and the knight to their respective squares at g8 and f5 do you suggest ♕d4, which seems to be winning instantly. Therefore, the insertion 31.♘h6 does not do much but give black some extra hope. Disclaimer: Sent from my iPhone.
Feb-24-12  morfishine: FWIW: In the <29.Rxf6> line the plausible continuation <29...Bc8> is defeated by: <30.Ne7+ Kh8 31.Rd6 Be6 32.Nxd5 Rfd8 33.Rxd8+ Rxd8 34.e4> and white holds on to the piece:

click for larger view

Feb-24-12  Shelter417: <In those hopeful days, the moderators would indeed walk amongst their flock. They would speak to us, as the ancient deities would oft-times commune with humans. It has even been rumoured that they did take the form of bulls and goats and impregnate human women. But I never held truck with <those> stories.


The only problem is ... while these godlike beings were taking their own personal journey of discovery ...

... someone forgot to rewrite the FAQ.>


I like it when we get these "is it a spoiler, or just a bad puzzle?" problems. Makes the kibitzing a lot more entertaining.

Feb-24-12  Memethecat: <once> They haven't run out of puzzles or broadened there scope to include "almost puzzles". I'm happy to have this little interlude and think "the powers that be" put it in deliberately. Yet confused I am, at the lack of kbzrs to notice this lemon amongst peaches.
Feb-24-12  LoveThatJoker: <inmate5> Correct you are! However note that <viking78>'s tactical intuition hit upon something interesting namely the line where the K is allowed to go to g6.

29. Rxf6 gxf6 30. g4 Qh3 31. Nh6+!? Kg7 32. Nf5+ Kg6 (32...Kg8/Kh8 33. Qd4 winning) and now 33. Rb6! which leads to an advantageous endgame for White. Sure, it is not an immediate win, but White has all the winning chances here, while Black must pray for a miracle.

As a conclusion, 31. Nh6!? although interesting and still advantageous for White, does give Black a glimmer of hope - albeit a faint one - and therefore good on you for noticing that.


Feb-24-12  LoveThatJoker: <Memethecat> I would like to say that I read your original post regarding your theory on why CG would have posted this puzzle.

I must admit that something has not been escaping my attention over the past week.

That's as much as I'll allow myself to say right now.


Feb-24-12  inmate5: <LoveThatJoker> Elegant indeed: 33.♖b6, and I see no satisfactory defence against 34.♖xf6, 35.♕d4 and mate in a few moves.
Feb-24-12  morfishine: <Ajile> Nice post on <29.Rxf6 gxf6 30.Qxd5>...End of story IMHO :)
Feb-24-12  LoveThatJoker: <inmate5> That's the main motif, if Black goes in for it.

However, note that Black has 33...Qf1+ taking the game into an endgame where White has some truly serious winning chances.

I posted this line - which, starting from 33. Rb6, is Stockfish's - shortly after having posted my own analysis on viking78's idea.


Feb-24-12  tonsillolith: Dang. I thought surely I had it with <29. g4 Qh3 30. Rxf6 gxf6 31. Qd4>.

Is there a defense for that? I can't find one.

Feb-24-12  BlackSheep: I dont care if "the real" solution is Nxg7 that just seems over complicated to me Rxf6 , gxf6 and g4 and black is toast............warm buttery toast , hmmmmm
Feb-25-12  M.Hassan: "Difficult" White to play 29.? Equal on sides

29.Rxf6 gxf6
30.g4! Qh3
31.Qd4 Bf1
32.Ne7+ Kg7
33.Bh6+ Qxh6
34.Nf5+ Kg6
35.Nxh6 Kxh6
Black Queen is gone.
Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Memethecat> Being serious for a while, I do think that CG has changed their approach over the years. It is now a fairly regular thing for them to give us positions with more than one solution.

As long as the position is interesting, does it matter?

After all, in a real game we will sometimes find ourselves with more than one way to win. Learning how to deal with that is as much about chess as solving pure puzzles with only one solution.

There is a Russian parable about a donkey which is placed exactly in the middle of two buckets of water. Because it cannot decide which bucket is closest it dies of thirst.

Is this a lemon amongst peaches? I guess it depends on your point of view. I'm a glass half full sort of chap. A lemon is simply a fruit with a different taste. Let's slice it up and put it in our gin and tonic.

All in all, I think I am saying that there is nothing wrong with a puzzle with more than one solution.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I agree with <Once> that it's OK to have a puzzle with more than one solution. That's how it is in the real world (when you're lucky). It was interesting to see the different approaches people took to this one. But yeah, CG should revise the answer to its FAQ.
Feb-25-12  David2009: S Slipak vs F Braga, 1998 White 29?

Try 29.Rxf6 gxf6 30.Qxf6 threatening Ne7+ winning the Q. If 30...Kh8 to stop the N check, 31.Bh6 renews the threat indirectly and 31...Rg8 to guard g7 does not work: 32.Bg7+ Rxg7 33.Qxa8+ Rg8 34.Rb8 and the back rank mate threat wins further material. Time to check:
I saw 29.Nxg7 but thought my line was stronger. Crafty Endgame Simulator interactive link: My line wins a Rook against the ES.

[Re-posted from yesterday - database had beewn temporarily off-line]

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: After white sacs the knight,black's knight at f6 becomes the focus of white's ENTIRE attack.

Eventually,white breaks through to win.

Feb-25-12  ajile: The good news is more of us were right on this puzzle than wrong so chalk it up in the win column.


Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Great combo by White, forgot to comment Friday.
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