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Jon Arnason vs Aleksey Dreev
Reykjavik Open (1990), Reykjavik ISL, rd 10, Mar-28
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Modern System (C03)  ·  1-0



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sac: 19.Bxh7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Nov-14-08  The Bycote: Wow. This may be the most clever double-bishop sac I've ever seen! 24.f4!! is not an easy move to see ahead of time, especially since the "canned" way to crown these attacks is with a rook lift. Brilliant, creative play by Arnason!
Oct-20-12  Chessdreamer: According to Informant 49 this game actually ended with <24.f4 1-0>.
Nov-16-16  WorstPlayerEver: I have seen the Bf6 pattern before couldn't find f4 though.
Nov-16-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: I would have tried 19 Bf6, and if 19 ... g6 then 20 Bxc4 to allow 21 Qd2 or 21 Qe3 if Black recaptures.

Unfortunately, I think that fails, because in lines with 19 ... gxf6, Black probably has enough time for ... Ne5/Ng6 to forestall mate.

Or if it succeeds, it's only because Black's knight retreat opens up a rook lift, and then we're perhaps beyond a Wednesday level of difficulty.

Nov-16-16  AlicesKnight: I saw the double-Bishop sacrifice as played but was puzzled by White not playing 22.exf6 - after 22.....Ne5 White has 23.Rxe5 Qxe5; and now either 24.Qxe5 has won material, or 24.Qg4+ leads to mate. It's early morning here - what have I missed?
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

White has Bxh7+, Bf6 and b3.

In the case of 19.Bf6:

A) 19... gxf6 20.Qg4+ (20.exf6 Qf4 21.Qh5 h6 22.b3 Qxf6 23.bxc4 dxc4 and Black doesn't look worse) 20... Kh8 21.exf6 Rg8 22.Qh4

A.1) 22... Rg7 23.exf6+ Kxg7 (23... Kg8 24.Qxh7#) 24.Qxh7+ + - [R+P vs N].

A.2) 22... Rxg2+ 23.Kxg2 d4+ 24.Kf1 Nd2+ 25.Ke2 Bf3+ (this would create problems if White played 22.Qh5) 26.Kxd2 wins.

B) 19... g6 20.Bxc4 dxc4 21.Qe3 followed by Qh6 wins.


In the case of 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 (19... Kh8 20.Qh5, followed by Bg6+, wins) 20.Qh5+ Kg8 21.Bf6 gxf6 22.Qg4+ (22.exf6 Qf4 as in A above) 22... Kh7 23.exf6 Kh6 (23... Rg8 24.Qh5#) 24.Qg7+ Kh5 25.f3 Qf4 or Rh8 and Black seems to hold.


In the case of 19.b3 f6 (19... Na5 20.Bxh7+ Kxh7 21.Qh5+ Kg8 22.Bf6 followed by Qg4 and Re3 wins) 20.Qh5 g6 21.Bxg6 Nxe5 and Black seems to hold.


I'd play 19.Bf6.

Nov-16-16  latebishop: 22. exf6 perhaps not played because it allows Qf4
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I missed 22... Rg6 in my first line A and 24.f4 after 19.Bxh7+.

Better luck tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  steinitzfan: I went astray at move 22. It looked counterintuitive to play Qg4+ because I wanted to keep the rooks hemmed in. Here it's much more important to deny access to f4 by the black queen. Activating Black's rooks doesn't help him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There's a subtlety in today's POTD which raises it above a normal Wednesday. The first few moves are pretty standard bishop sacs:

19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Qh5+ Kg8 21. Bf6 gxf6

click for larger view

And now we might be tempted by 22. gxf6 followed by Qg4+, Qg5+ or Qh6 intending mate on g7. It's such a standard idea that many of us would play into it on autopilot.

But not so fast! As <latebishop> and <agb2002> have spotted, the immediate 22 gxf6 runs into 22...Qf4.

click for larger view

That's annoying. The black queen covers all of the entry squares that the white queen was eyeing up. And white can't engineer a rook lift (the other standard idea in these positions) because the black pieces have landmined e3, e4 and e5.

The attack fizzles out. We've thrown away two bishops for nothing.

Instead, white should safeguard f4 before playing gxf6. The game continued 22. Qg4+ Kh7 23. exf6

click for larger view

Now Qf4 is prevented and white can continue his attack. It's still tricky because the rook lift is still impossible. White will need to introduce another pawn into the attack with f4 to finish black off.

Seems a little complicated for a Wednesday.

Nov-16-16  thegoodanarchist: I saw the first three moves, but then I didn't see how to lift the White rook without capture. And I didn't see that White didn't need to, he could mate with the two pawns. This is imaginative play IMO
Nov-16-16  zb2cr: Missed this one. I got hung up on the fact that all of the square for White's Rook to enter (e3, e4) were covered. So I wrote off the double Bishop sacrifice.
Nov-16-16  patzer2: <Once> Thanks for the analysis showing the refutation of 22. exf6? with 22... Qf4 (-3.14 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 15). It helps explain the importance of the key follow-up move 22. Qg4+! which forces mate-in-nine (Komodo 10.9 @ 42 depth).

In attempting to solve today's Wednesday puzzle with 19. Bxh7+, I mentally calculated the refutation 22. exf6? Qf4 . Unfortunately I did not remember I analyzed this position 12 years ago, and after visualizing 22. exf6? Qf4 I gave up on this winning line without considering 22. Qg4+!

Instead I went for 19. b3, which is refuted by 19...Nxe5 20. Qxe5 Qxe5 21. Rxe5 f6 = (0.09 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

P.S.: For a Black improvement, the computer suggestion 17...h6 = (0.21 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 15) is better than 17...Bxg5? 18. Bxg5 (+1.40 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

Nov-16-16  AlicesKnight: <Once> Thanks for your answer - you did my question as well as others - I missed ....Qf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: I went for the 22.exf6 line. I foresaw 22...Qf4 but thought it could be refuted by 23.g3. Of course, this turned out to be stupid!
Nov-16-16  Chizoad: The double bishop sacrifice beginning on h7 is fairly obvious although I like many missed the correct line, assuming 22.exf6 was the way.

What's most amazing to me about this puzzle is just how spectacularly bad black's position is. When the sacrificial attack happens there is not one black piece that can come to the rescue. The rooks are useless, the queen and knight do nothing. However, black's position is fun looking. Just move the f8 rook to a8 and the symmetry will be complete. It's not like that rook is doing anything.

Nov-16-16  YetAnotherAmateur: As with yesterday, the striking thing about this position is that black's pieces are all completely uselessly on the wrong side of the board, and white just needs to keep them over there all aimed pointlessly at b2 and c3 while winning on the kingside.

In that situation, 19. Bxh7 becomes an easy move to play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Nicely done, <Once>! Very lucid explanation. This was far above a regular Wednesday, in my book. First is necessary to see that 19 Bxh7+ is better than 19 Qh5 (which does seem to win). Then to find the subtle 22 Qg4+ which in that position is the ONLY winning move, and is a mate which takes ten moves--not so easy to work out.
Nov-16-16  kevin86: The pawns and queen cause black's demise, after the bishop sac opens the game!
Nov-16-16  YouRang: Rats - Missed it. I was sure that some sort of rook lift would be needed to make the bishop sac idea fly.

But I couldn't see how to make it happen. So, I looked at the game and discovered that with another bishop sac, some deft queen maneuvering, and the addition of the f-pawn, the rook lift was unnecessary.

Lazy analysis goes unrewarded. Very good puzzle.

Nov-16-16  NBZ: Tried for a long time to make Qg7+ work (after exf6 Kh6). Eventually realized that the quiet move f4 is needed. That (and also the subtlety with playing Qg4+) makes this a fair bit harder than the usual Wednesday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamajiro: Great combination !!
Nov-16-16  WorstPlayerEver: It's nice because (both) Bh7/Bf6 is not the key move. These sacs are easy to find.
Nov-16-16  thegoldenband: <chrisowen: hdqsoust>

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Nov-16-16  mel gibson: I saw the check move of course but I couldn't see it leading to a win. I was wrong.
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