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John A Peters vs Lawrence Day
Lone Pine (1977), Lone Pine, CA USA, rd 3, Mar-22
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-21-12  vinidivici: <Moonwalker: First three moves obvious but didn't - read couldn't - see past that.. The royal fork at the end is beautiful!>

In the competitive match, let alone in the GM level, if one looks a proper move and promising, he/she usually has to take a chance.

The first three move looks very safe and also prevents the checkmate. Dont forget, the opponent has to move first also. So after the promising 3 moves, one could calculate the moves again.

Oct-21-12  Abdel Irada: Also, of course, <Phony Benoni> is right: The rook on d7 is a desperado.

If you just defend against the mate threat with 34. Bf3?, you not only get nothing for the rook, but the seventh rank is still closed and the king still fairly safe. As a practical matter, this leaves little choice about the first move.

And once it's played, 35. Bf3 is another obvious necessity: It stops Black's mate threat and attacks his queen while pressuring his king.

After that, it's all a matter of finding a way, preferably the most efficient way, to bring one's queen into the game.

This, of course, is why so many players found this a fairly easy Sunday puzzle: Not only was the main combination forcing and forthright, but the moves play themselves more or less on principle.

Oct-21-12  goodevans: <Abdel Irada: ... <35...e4 36.Bxe4 Qd7 37. Rf8 Kb6 38. Rxf7> ...

Black can move the queen to e5, c4 or any of several other squares, but I don't propose to analyze all of the resulting lines. With the black king exposed, it's a matter of time before the white queen enters the fray and either mates, wins material or at least forces an exchange of queens. At the moment, White's advantage is not immediately winning, but this will soon change.>

<Abdel Irada: <goodevans: Faced with this in an OTB situation, who here <wouldn't> just play 34.Rxb7+ Qxb7 35.Bf3 and 36.Ra8+ and just see how it panned out?> ... in my solution I preferred to bring the rook to f8>

<Rf8> is certainly a very interesting alternative to <Ra8+>, but the line you give rather hinges on black needlessly giving away a pawn with <35...e4 36.Bxe4> (which he didn't in the game). The e5 pawn is important in keeping the 5th rank blocked and if it stays where it is then I don't believe <34.Rxb7+ Qxb7 35.Bf3 Qd7 36. Rf8 Kb6 37. Rxf7> works anything like as well.

Don't forget that black has ambitions of his own and so when you say black has a choice of squares for his Q these include some where he takes the fight to white. To me <37...Qd2> just leaps out as one that gives white some problems of his own to contend with.

Oct-21-12  cyclon: I'll come up with 34. Rxb7+ Qxb7 ( -Kxb7? 35. Bf3 e4 36. Bxe4 and that's it ) 35. Bf3 and now Black Queen cannot leave 7th rank because of 36. Qxf7+. Also 35. -e4 in order to cover the b8-square by Bishop doesn't change the nature of White's attack - it actually helps White by clearing the diagonal d1-h5 for his Queen and by cleaning the 5th rank by a possible future - move f6 for White. ( 35. -e4 ) 36. Rxe4 is uncertain.

Now, ( after 35. Bf3 ) if 35. -Qc7, then 36. Ra8+ Kb6 37. Be2 and now moves like 37. -Qc5/d7/e7/pa5/Rh1+/Rxf2 do NOT work.

In two major options ( after 37. Be2 ) 37. -Qxc2 38. Rxa6+ Kc5 39. b4+ Kxb4 ( -Kd4 40. Rd6+, or -Kd5 40. Qf3+ e4+ [ -Qe4 41. Rd6+ ] 41. Qxf4 over ) 40. Qf3 ( threat is 41. Qa3X ) Black should be in the 'net' after 40. -Qc1+ 41. Bf1 in this variation.

Then, another try ( after 37. Be2 ) is 37. -Qb7 ( threat is 38. -Qg2X ) where White's winning method is slightly more complex; 38. Rxa6+ Kc5 ( - Kc7 39. Qxf7+ and Black loses his Queen or else gets mated. ) 39. Ra5+ Kd6 ( the only move ) 40. Bf3 and now I slightly reduce again the mess here taking into account of several Queen moves only three ( on 40. -e4 41. f6 should decide ; 41. -exf3 [ -Qb6 42. Qd5+ Kc7 43. Rc5 Kb8 44. Rb5 ] 42. Qc5+ Ke6 [ -Ke7 43. Qe7+ ] 43. Qf5+ followed by 44. Qxf4+ and 45. Kxh2 ) ;

Now here ( after 40. Bf3 ) if 1. 40. -Qc7, then 41. Ra6+ Ke7 42. f6+ Ke8/f8 43. Qxh7 should be over soon.

2. ( after 40. Bf3 ) 40. -Qxb2 41. Rd5+ Kc6 ( -Ke7 42. Qh4+ Kf8 43. Rd8+ Kg7 44. f6+ Kg6 45. Be4X ) 42. Rd4+ dis.ch. Kb6/b5/c5 ( if King goes to the 7th 43. Qxf7+ decides and on 42. -e4 43. Rxe4 wins sooner for White ) 43. Rxf4 just simply and White wins though it takes some time.

3. ( after 40. Bf3 ) 40. -Qb6 ( threats are 41. -Qxf2X and 41. -Qxa5 ) 41. Rd5+ Ke7 ( on 41. -Kc6 42. Rxe5+ dis.ch. Kd6 [ otherwise 43. Qxf7+ ] 43. Rd5+ Ke7 44. Qh4+ Ke8 [ -Kf8 45. Rd8+ mates ] 45. Be2 and now that the f2 is covered it's difficult for Black to meet both 46. Bb5+ and 46. Qxf4. ) 42. Qh4+ Ke8 43. Be2 and now the threat 44. Bb5+ alone sets the curtains.

Oct-21-12  Zatrikion: It is tempting for white to play <34.Bf3> and prevent mating threats (34..Qxc2 35.Be2 and then 35..e4 36.Rde7), but after <34..Qxd7 35.Rf8 Qd4 36.Qh4 Qd2>, white is doomed. So the counter attack is the best option:

<34.Rxb7+ Qxb7> (34..Kxb7 35.Bf3 pinning the Q)

<35.Bf3 Qc7 or Qd7> (Q cannot move on b file due to 36.Ra8+ Kb6, 37.Rb8+ and 38.RxQ)

<36.Rf8> white is slowly retaking the advantage since Black K is revealed and is vulnerable. Pawns f and h will fall and even the exchange of Queens favours the white due to the trappped Rh2. Time to check.

Oct-21-12  MagisterMusicae: Happy Lawrence's Day!
Oct-21-12  LIFE Master AJ: I found the first two moves very quickly ... they were practically forced, owing to Black's threats. (g2) Also - White had a surplus of material, so no problem in giving some back to stop the mate.

What took a long time was to find 37.Qh4! (The threat was Qf6+ winning. And if the Black Queen vacates - and goes somewhere stupid, Qd8 will win for White.)

All-in-all, I spent over 30 minutes on this one ... good puzzle.

Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a rook and a pawn up.

Black threatens 34... Q(R)h1#, 34... Qg2#, 34... Qxd7 and 34... Qxc2.

The first idea that comes to mind is 34.Rxb7+ Qxb7 (34... Kxb7 35.Bf3 e4 36.Bxe4 + -) 35.Bf3:

A) 35... Qb6 36.Ra8#.

B) 35... Qb5 (or 35... Qb4, 35... Qxb2) 36.Ra8+ Kb6 37.Rb8+ wins the queen.

C) 35... Qc7 36.Qh4 (threatening 37.Re7) 36... Qd6 37.Qe7+ Qxe7 38.Rxe7+ Kb6 39.Bg2 + - (the plan is to capture Black's f- and h-pawns and to win more material by trying to promote the f-pawn).

D) 35... Qd7 36.Tf8

D.1) 36... Qd2 37.Qxf7+ Kb6 38.Rb8+ Kc5 (38... Ka5 39.b4+ Ka4 40.Qb3#) 39.Qc7+ Kd4 40.Rd8#.

D.2) 36... Kb6 37.Qxf7 Qxf7 (otherwise the white queen will attack the black king) 38.Rxf7 Rxh3 39.Be4 + - [2P] and White should win the endgame.

Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Having solved White to play and win at move 34, can you go back to move 21 and solve Black to play and win?
Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After looking at the kibitzes and reviewing the puzzle again, it looks like the crux of the puzzle is what white should do on move 37.

Besides the text 37 Qh4 and 37 Rb8+, how about 37 b4!?


click for larger view

Oct-21-12  Abulherar: White to play and lose his rook!
Otherwise black will mate white's King in one move or few moves. Let's start:34.♖xb7+! ♕xb7(34...♔xb7 35.♗f3!)
and black's ♕ is lost.
35.♗f3 ♕xc2 36.♖a8+ ♔b6 37.♖b8+ ♔c7
Now,White has saved himself and he has a better position.
Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Got to 36 Ra8ch Kb6 but did not find 37 Qh4
Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Hi <Jimfromprovidence>! Interesting idea <37.b4>

In this uniquely unbalanced position, White is winning by virtue of his superior mobility [ie: Black's rook on <h2>] plus with the Black rook positioned as is, it simply doesn't influence and is unable to move to influence any critical squares. White can hardly lose.

While I think <35...Qc7> is better than <35...Qd7> for Black, it hardly matters as White is essentially prosecuting the attack while up a whole rook.

Nice idea though <37.b4>

Oct-21-12  waustad: I didn't see far enough into the line to know that it was winning, but it seemed to be the only real chance.
Oct-21-12  BOSTER: Everybody looks at chess from different angle.

This is the pos. after white played 21.Ne2, cutting for white queen the way to retreat.


click for larger view

Black to play.
Black,who already played without rook could trap the queen playing 21...Rh6. After 22.Nxf4 Rxh5 23.Nxh5 Qg5 , and then Kxc8. I don't think that white is better.

Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: A very strange game!
Oct-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I am perfectly willing to call this puzzle "insane." Sure the first three moves are intuitive, but 37. Qh4!! is the sort of quiet move that a properly insane puzzle often features. It is hard to believe how powerful this move proves to be.
Oct-21-12  James D Flynn: White is a R and a pawn up but is facing the threat of mate next move.by either Rh1# or Qh1#. The only answer s to that threat are 34.Bf3 or a check followed by Bf3. The immediate 34.Bf3 loses the R on d7 and White would then be faced with the unpleasant choice of losing the other R on e8 or moving it to f8, g8, or h8 being mated by 35.Qd2 followed by Qe1+ or Qc1+ then Qh1#. Candidates Ra8+ or Rxb7+. 34.Ra8+ Kxa8(if Kb6 34.Rxb7+ Bf3)35. Rd8+ Ka7 36.Bf3 e4(not Qxc2 37.Qh4 Qc1+ 38.Rd1 holds) 37.Bd1 e3 38.Qf3 Qxf3(not exf2+ 39.Kf1 Qxf3 40.Bxf3 Be3 41.Rd7 wins) 39.Bxf3 Rxf2 40.Be4 Bg3 41.Rd7 a4 42.Bxb7 e2 and White has no answer to the threat of Rf1+ and e1=Q . 34.Rxb7+ Qxb7(not Kxb7 35.Bf3) 35.Bf3 Qd7(this or Qc7 he cannot allow Qxf2+)36. Ra8+ Kb6 37.Qh4(threat Qd8+ exchanging Qs when Blacks R and B are trapped on the K-side and out of play) Qxf5 38.Qd8+ Kb5 37.Qd5+ Kb6 38.Rb8+ Kc7 39.Qc6+ Kxb8 40.Qb7#
Oct-21-12  Moonwalker: <vinidivici>, that's how I play! Take chances all the time!!
Oct-22-12  Abdel Irada: <goodevans>: I have to admit, I'm of two minds regarding 35. ...e4 myself. Certainly, Black would like not to give up this pawn, but it is also helpful in many lines because it prevents a later Rb8.

For example, if Black wants to try your idea against my proposed solution without the pawn sac, play might continue 35. ...Qd7; 36. Rf8, Qd2?; 37. Qxf7, Kb6 forced; 38. Rb8, Ka5/Kc5; 39. Qc7, etc., when mate is imminent. Notice that White's immediate triumph hinges on his access to the squares b8 and c7, which would be unavailable after the pawn sac on e4.

Later, I rejected this aggressive continuation for Black anyway because he can't save king, queen and rook at once, and chose to move the queen to c7 instead of d7. This is where, had I been a bit less tired last night and a bit more thorough, I would have revisited the analysis with and without the pawn sac.

At a brief examination, a plausible line appears to be 35. ...Qd7; 36. Rf8, Kb6; 37. Rxf7, Qd2!?; 38. Rb7, Kc5; 39. b4!, Kd6!; 40. Rb6! And now, if 40. ...Kc7; 41. Qf7! and White wins because the rook is immune thanks to 41. ...Kxb6; 42. Qb7#.


click for larger view

(The position after 40. Rb6.)

Note throughout the above that Black must be careful not to move to any square that allows the white queen to enter the fray with check or the rook to skewer him on the d-file. All of this again suggests that Black can't play too aggressively, since the queen on d2 becomes a target. However, if he can't play aggressively, then White can strangle him at leisure.

So, again, I'm not certain whether my solution is or is not more efficient than the text. Perhaps someone with access to an engine can see what it thinks.

Oct-22-12  UnsoundHero: After 21 Ne2, black can apparently win with 21...Rh6 22 Nxf4 exf4! 23 Qxh6 (Qd1 or Qa5+ gives black a winning attack against the Kh1) 23...Qxh6 24 Nxd6 f3 25 Nf5 Nxf5 26 exf5 Bd5 27 Rfd1 fxg2+ 28 Kh2 g1(Q)+! 29 Kxg1 Qxh3 30 Be4 Qg4+.
Oct-22-12  Abdel Irada: <UnsoundHero>: Nice attacking line, but could White hold out longer with 30. f3 instead of 30. Be4, which loses immediately?
Oct-22-12  TheoNov: <IMlday: 21. .. ?> <UnsoundHero: After 21 Ne2, black can apparently win with 21...Rh6 22 Nxf4 exf4!>

A trap worth trying, but instead of 22. Nxf4?? White should play 22. Qxh6 Qxh6 23. Nxd6 with equality.

Oct-22-12  Abdel Irada: <TheoNov>: Congratulations on a good resource. I'd rejected that line without really examining it because of 23. ...Bxh3, but of course Black can't actually play that thanks to 24. Nxf7. And on, e.g., 23. ...Kc7, White can play 24. Nf5!, Nxf5; 25. exf5, Bd5; 26. f3, when he appears to hold.

<IMlday>: Are we missing anything here? Did you have a plan against <TheoNov>'s defense?

Oct-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: If I'd known I'd only missed a draw instead of a win then I would only have been half as disappointed! :)
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