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Simon Winawer vs Mikhail Chigorin
Warsaw (1882), Warsaw RUE
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Main Line (C51)  ·  0-1



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sac: 22...Bd4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-14-08  ravel5184: 3/4

That's all I can say.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BlackWaive> That sounds like a pass to me.

<JonathanJ> Yup - your line should win. Fritz gives either 25. ... Re8 or 25. ... Bxg2 as the best continuations for black. 25. ... Re8 scores +6.5 and 25. ... Bxg2 evaluates as +5.1.

The lower score for 25. ... Bxg2 is because white gets time for Kg1 unpinning the g2 rook and reinstating the threat against g7. It's not enough to rescue the game for white, but some more calculation is needed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I'm sure it doesn't take too long to spot the bishop does sterlingly well. Chigorin had the gift of gab, an angel at work.
Aug-14-08  Woody Wood Pusher: This is a great puzzle, I found 22...Bd4! and 25...Re8 and (once I enter the position correctly!) the Master Chess (32 bit 20 MHz) finds the correct line after about 40 seconds!
Aug-14-08  TheBB: I thought it was white to move... So I came up with Nf6+ Rxf6 Rxg7+, heaven knows whether it is sound or not.
Aug-14-08  eblunt: White would have been much better off with 22 ♕xg7+ ♔x♕ 23 ♘f6+ winning back the queen and a small advantage for black, but no clear win in sight.
Aug-14-08  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium): Black to play and win.

Material: Down N for B+P. White has a focus of attack at Pg7, with a battery Bb2 and Qc3 and Rg1. The White Ne4 can deliver a royal fork Nf6+. In fact, White would have an immediate win with 23.Rxg7+, if only it were his turn to play. Black has a counterattack on Pf3, which is defended by the White Qc3. Given the immediacy of the threat 23.Rxg7+, which is based on the a1-h8 battery, Black must either counterattack with check or defend the threat directly. The sequence

22…Qxf3 23.Qxf3 Rxf3 24.Rxg7+ Kf8 25.Rxd7

drops a piece in unhappy circumstances for the Black Kf8, so we are left with one candidate.

Candidates (22…): Bd4


White might as well capture Bd4, to defend Ne4. After 23.Q moves Bxb2, capture is mandatory anyway, otherwise White loses a B and then gnashes his teeth at a triply defended Pg7.

23.Qxd4 Qxf3+ 24.Rg2 Bh3 (threatening 25…Qxg2#)

25.Rag1 [Qxg7+ Rxg7] Bxg2+ 26.Rxg2 Re8

threatening 27.Rxe4 and if Ne4 moves without check, 27.Re1 and mate soon. On 27.Nf6+ Rxf6, activating the R and (if 27.Re1# is not enough) threatening 28.Rg6. White therefore loses Ne4 and is down the exchange and 2Ps. The White counterattack rapidly forces exchange of material to a winning endgame.

I, too, missed the subtlety of 25...Re8 rather than 25.Bxg2+, thinking it did not matter and missing 27.Kg1.

Aug-14-08  zooter: <TheBB: I thought it was white to move... So I came up with Nf6+ Rxf6 Rxg7+, heaven knows whether it is sound or not.>

Yes that should has no escape with both Kf8 and Kh8 after white takes the rook

Interestingly when I thought it was white to move, I thought of Nf6+ Rxf6 Qxf6 which should also win

Aug-14-08  RookFile: <I thought it was white to move... >

Me too, LOL.

Aug-14-08  whiteshark: Almost six years between the first two posts.

Aug-14-08  YouRang: So far, Monday (IMO) has been the toughest day this week. :-p

Today, I saw pretty quickly that I wanted to play Qxf3+, forcing ...Rg7, and then Bh3 -- and the only thing stopping me is the queen. Can I deflect it? (I also noted that white has some serious threats against my king, particularly g7, so I must be careful.)

The obvious deflection try would be 22...Bd4!, with the extra benefit of interfering with white's offensive aimed at g7. The queen must capture via 23.Qxd4, allowing me to proceed with my idea: 23...Qxf3+ 24.Rg2 Bh6 (threat: ...Qxg2#) 24.Rg1.

Here, I went with 24...Bxg2+ 25.Rxg2, and at this point, I've traded 2 bishops for a rook and pawn. But now comes the pin: 25...Re8!, and the white knight is attacked twice, it can only be defended once, and it can't move or else ...Re1#. After I eat the knight, I sail happily into the endgame up the exchange plus a couple pawns.

I see that 24...Re8 might have been a bit stronger, but I'm satisfied that I got the winning idea.

Aug-14-08  Slurpeeman: Got it. A beautiful puzzle! White has all sorts of checks and pins on Black, but, thanks to Reinfeld, I know that an overburdened piece must be exploited. That piece is White's Queen. The rest came naturally
Aug-14-08  mworld: wow, i got to see it in less than 10 seconds and it played out exactly as I saw it - an absolute first for me on any puzzle past tuesday!
Aug-14-08  Geronimo: Geronimo: Classic deflection with a nice pinning theme on the g2 rook. But I can't honestly claim the full point. In my lazy, post work haze I got to 25.Rg1 and said, "white's pretty tied down now, I bet that's black's winning line" without calculating any further. Alas.

p.s. Long live the Chigorin defense!!!

Aug-14-08  TheaN: 4/4

Not bad, but I was kind of worried about the time it took me to spot the simplest continuation after the King is completely trapped between his rooks and pawn. I guess Thurday - Sunday are still no real one second spotters, although I tend to have less and less difficulty with Thurday and even Friday puzzles. Well, onto today for anyone who cares about my analysis :).

As <Once> rightfully states, this was a position with two faces: from one way, White's attack is way too obvious and deadly, so it must be Black's move who has to stop this attack. From the other way, we see that Black has the potential of Qxf3† and after Rg2 the bank rank and the Rook itself are not safe, so how is the Queen deflected. Two faces form one, and the move unfolds.

<22....Bd4!!> I actually do not know if !! is appropriate but these kind of interposing moves are usually very hard to find, as at first sight they seem to just give away a piece. Variation play is minimal here, basicly White accepts the sac, or he does not and has to keep defending his Bishop which is skewered by Bd4. Or he just can move his Queen not caring for the Bishop.

<23.Qxc7 Bxb2 > desperate move by White, that extra pawn won't help. Any Queen move not defending the Bishop (or if not recaptured after a defending move) is essentially this variation.

<23.Qb3> Take note that any Queen move defending the Bishop will lead to the same continuation. Although the outcome is identical to -A-, this requires one more move by Black, but also loses a piece with a hopeless endgame to come.

<23....Bxb2 24.Qxb2 Qxf3 > and the Knight falls and White's Rook is pinned also, defueling the attack even more.

<23.Qxd4> now this is of course the combination itself: the only challenge by White is to capture the Bishop and take the sac, but the essential outcome is the same as with -A- and -B-.

<23....Qxf3† 24.Rg2 Bh3! 25.Rag1> a move that is necessary to defend against Qxg2. Any checking move here, either by Queen or Knight doesn't lead to anything as the Rook on g2 is mercilessly pinned to the Quuen so it can only scope from afar, but not help its pieces.

<25....Re8!> brilliant 'silent' move and the key move. Black utilizes his final piece and does so by winning a piece with it. Essentially, Black attacks e4 and skewers e1: he must let go of the Knight (in any way), as the bank rank is too deadly.

<26.Ng3 Bxg2† 27.Rxg2 Re1† 28.Nf1 Rxf1‡ 0-1> any other Knight move aside Ng3 and Nf6 will mate one move faster.

<26.Nf6† Rxf6 > if <27.Qxf6 Bxg2† 28.Rxg2 Re1‡>

<26.Qc3> among others that do not help the Knight.

<26....Bxg2† 27.Rxg2 Qxe4 > should win. I have to admit that after noticing that the Knight cannot be defended, and not moved due to mate, that the defences were gone and stopped looking. I think that's right, and that the ingame played end was just simplification by Chigorin.

Aug-14-08  kevin86: I was on the right track,but picked the different train. My move was 22...♗a4 to divert the queen from the long diagonal-does it work?
Aug-14-08  kevin86: At least I didn't try 22...♖xf3??? 23 ♕xg7#. OUCH!!
Aug-14-08  patzer2: Wow! For today's puzzle solution 22...Bd4! I was surprised at the number and variety of tactical themes involved in this rather straight forward "medium difficulty" combination.

Let's break it down:


In addition to initiating a King-side attack, this initial move involves a defensive element in using the obstruction or interference (i.e. breaking communications) theme to parry White's threats (e.g. 22...Raf1?? 23. Rxg7+ Kh8 24. Rg8+ Kxg8 25. Qh8#). It also involves an element of the decoy theme, in that Black's objective is to decoy the White Queen to the d4 square. It also involves the deflection theme, since in decoying the Queen to d4 we also deflect her from the protection of the critical f3 square (i.e. remove protection or remove the guard).

<23. Qxd4>

The concept of forced moves is evident in visualizing this reply. If for example 23. Qb3, then 23...Bxg2 24. Qxg2 Qxf3+ 25. Rg2 Qxe4 wins a decisive piece with the double attack (i.e. Queen Fork) tactic.


This move forces White's reply (due to a basic rule of chess: the priority of check), and begins a decisive pinning combination.

<24. Rg2>

Because White's first priority is getting out of check, this move is forced. Now the Rook is subject to an absolute pin, and is therefore helpless to assist White with any attacking plans. As such, Black's 23...Qxf3+ has an element of combining both offensive and defensive tactics, similar to what we saw with 22...Bd4!


This forcing move, involves the use of a mate threat to force the move of a piece (i.e. concept of forced move) to a specific square.

<25. Rg1>

Seeing this as the practically best forced reply also illustrates the concept of visualization. For example, Black needs to see that 25. Nf6+ fails to 25...Rxf6 26. Qxf6 Qxg2#.


This relatively quiet move, involves the theme of making multiple layers of threats without a check or capture. On the first layer, Black threatens to win a piece as Black attacks the Knight on e4 twice and White only defends once (e.g. 26. a3? Rxe4 ). On a second layer, it threatens to bring a second rook into the attack with a second pin as a deflection in a mating attack (e.g. 26. Ng3? Re1 27. Rxe1 Qxg2#).

<26. Qc3>

Seeing this relatively best reply for White, also involves the concept of visualization and looking for your opponent's best defensive move in a combination.


This simple reply involves initiating a
series of forced moves by exchange of material (i.e. trading pieces) to reach a won position.

<27. Rxe4>

Visualizing that this reply is forced and keeps White in an absolute pin (i.e. moving the Rook on g2 is impossible, since it exposes White's King to check) is an essential element of this combination. It also involves the idea of making exchanges of material to simplify to a won endgame.


On the surface, this simply invovles the capture of an unprotected piece, towards the end of the combination, to leave White with a decisive material advantage. However, on a deeper level, it forces White's next reply and prepares a surprise in between move or Zwischenzug (a.k.a. intermezzo).

<28. Qxf3>

White could have resigned, but was perhaps hoping for 28...Rxf3 29. Rxg2+ Kf1 30. Rxc7 when he might have some slim chances of pulling off a draw.


Instead of making the expected 28...Rxf3 move, Black surprises White with this unexpected in between move, forcing the combination 29. Rg1 Rxg1+ 30. Kxg1 Rxf3 . Now with a Rook for Bishop and a huge pawn majority, White's position is beyond even a slim hope for a draw.

Aug-14-08  DarthStapler: I got the first 3 moves but I couldn't find the followup
Aug-14-08  456: Wednesday puzzle Aug-13-08 <52. ...?> Tal vs Taimanov, 1954
Aug-14-08  Longbrow: I have always had admiration for Chigorin.
White attempts to open the e file over Chigorin’s inviting uncastled King with 14. e5 hoping for future pins? I do not think White realized the repercussions of the f file being opened at the same time.

As a result, Chigorin castled in perfect time, and placed his rooks on the open files White provided for him. This forces 19.gxf3 and allows Black a wonderfully strong attack on that square. I would love to have Chigorin’s vision at move 14.

<whiteshark: Almost six years between the first two posts.> I am glad CG pulled this out of the archives.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Black could win faster after 18...Rxf3! 19.gxf3 Bd4! -+
Aug-30-19  WorstPlayerEver: Nice, an attack on a1 and f3, White loses a piece:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Nice, an attack on a1 and f3, White loses a piece> Well, yes but it's a bit more complex, as after 18...Rxf3 19.gxf3 Bd4 20.Qa3 Bxa1 white still has 21.Bg5 attacking the Queen and Bishop at once. But white is lost anyway after 21...Qf8 22.f4 Ng6 23.Rxa1 h6 (diagram) and the Bishop on g5 is trapped.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: And if 18...Rxf3 19.gxf3 Bd4 20.Qa3 Bxa1 21.Bg5 Qf8 22.Rxa1, then simply 22...Nxf3+ 23.Kg2 Nxg5 24.Nxg5 Qf6 25.Qc1 (the only move covering both attacked pieces) 25...Rf8 with two extra Pawns and overwhelming attack.
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