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Aleksey Dreev vs Dmitry Aleksandrovich Berkovich
Podolsk (1992), Podolsk RUS, rd 4, Dec-??
Dutch Defense: Fianchetto Attack (A81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-08-07  Creg: Like many here I too went with the basic 37. Qxf8+ Kxf8 38. Nd7+ followed by 39. Nxf6. Yes, this is a theoretical win for those who ask. However, if you have an option to let the game go on for another 2 hours, or be able to finish things off in just a few minutes, you go for the quicker of two options.

37. d6! leads to a knock out much faster than 37. Qxf8 and is simply the better option. A great finish by Dreev, and a good lesson for many of us. Always look for the most efficient way to put the game away.

Aug-08-07  gilbertblondy: Bonjour,
As many people, i saw 37.♕f8 ♔f8 39.♘d7 winning the ♕ and i stopped to analyse............ 37. d6!! is very better
Remember Lasker (or Tartakover?): when you find a good move, don't play it. Find a better !!! I apologyse for my english :-))
Bonne journée
Aug-08-07  chessamateur: If 37... Qxf6 doesn't 38. dxc7 win as well. I know, I know the other one is faster but I like finding alternates.
Aug-08-07  Fezzik: Yeah, I too stopped at 37.♕xf8.

37.d6 is high class, and certainly better than 37.Qxf8. In a real game I would have looked for better, but in a puzzle I saw the win of material and was done with it.

Nice vision by Dreev who saw that Black couldn't play Qxg7 because of the mate on d8!

PS: Nice graphics,!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <ongyj> <So yeah, I think I've solved the puzzle, along with the rest who also played 37.Qxf8.> I'd disagree with your interpretation of what the puzzles are about. In my view, they are about finding the *best* move / series of moves. I think about it this way: I imagine I'm playing this game, and I'm playing it against the real life opponent, in this case Berkovich. If I were playing this game against Berkovich for real, I would either finish him with 37.d6, or I'd wound him badly by winning the exchange. Problem is, Berkovich, a resourceful 2400-level player, might find a way to recover from his wounds in the lost endgame. It's risky to let a player like him survive.
Aug-08-07  YouRang: Yeah, I spotted the 37. Qxf8+ and knight fork right away, and dismissed it as an unusually easy Wednesday.

That should have been a clue for me to look deeper -- but then again, I'm a little short on time this morning.

So, I followed the old adage: "When you see a good move, look for a better one ...unless you're short on time".

Aug-08-07  triangulation: yup got it. full marks this week.
Aug-08-07  Crowaholic: My solution was Qxf8+, too, with the knight fork winning a rook if Black plays 38. ..Ke8 (e.g. 37. Qxf8+ Kxf8 38. Nd7+ Ke8 39. Nxf6+ exf6 40. d6 Ne6 41. Bc6+ Kd8 42. Ra3! Nc7 43. dxc7+ Kxc7 44. Bxb5. I dismissed 37. d6!! too quickly because of 37. ..Qxg7, but on hindsight, that is obviously punished by 38. d7+ Kd8 39. Nc6#.

Too bad, in the Qxf8+ line, after 38. ..Kg7!, White only wins the exchange, as others have demonstrated. If I had taken the time to at least analyze *this* line, I would have realized that Qxf8+ is probably not the best move.

<soberknight: As Steinitz is famously quoted for saying, when you see a good move, look for a better one.>

And Lasker, too. But then, probably every great chess player said that at one time. ;-)

Aug-08-07  Akuni: <Crowaholic> Yeah, I got a pretty much the same thing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I tried a queen exchange followed by d6-I guess an immediate d6. The queen capture by black results in mate in two-and black's king will be forced to abandon the rook on move 38.

I goofed!

Aug-08-07  EyesofBlue: <prinsallan: Doesn't this also win eventually...

37. Qxf8+ Kxf8 (forced)
38. Nd7+ -forking the K+Q. 38... Kg7
39. Nxf6 Kxf6. Wins the exchange, but does it win?>

That's what I got too. I think white would be in a pretty good spot to win after that exchange.

Aug-08-07  THE pawn: Back on the road, I got that one.
Aug-08-07  thatsmate: I did what so many other people did- I glanced at it for a few seconds and went with an immediate Qxf8. I guess I'm getting a little bit cocky- I should take more time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Funnily enough, I saw and chose 37.d6 but didn't see the mate in two with d7+ and Nc6# following 37...Qxg7. Instead, I saw 37.d6 Qxg7 38.dxc7 and White threatens three mates (c8=Q#, Rd8# and Bc6#) and, as far as I can tell, Black can't stop it. Does anyone see a salvation for Black in this line?
Aug-08-07  Crowaholic: <Fusilli: Does anyone see a salvation for Black in this line?>

Let's see. The king cannot move. The rook has 2 possible moves, but they don't stop c8=Q#. No queen move can stop this move either. Be6 is the only bishop move that accomplishes this but fails to Rd8#. But there is one pawn move that stops the mate in 1: 38. ..e6. Now all of the moves you mentioned aren't mate because of 39. ..Ke7. Worse, Black now has the new flight square f6 which White does not threaten, and which is hard to threaten. So it seems White must play a quiet move, e.g. 39. Rd7. Now, 39. ..Qf6 is forced which leads to 40. c8=Q+ Qd8 41. Qxd8#. So it's a 4 move forced mate.

Aug-08-07  Crowaholic: Fusilli: 39. c8=Q+ also works: ..Ke7 40. Qc5+ and 40. ..Kf6 41. Nd7# or 40. ..Ke8 42. Bc6#
Aug-08-07  BadKnight: Saw the queen fork within a second, and thought that was it. Thought that with the exchange up white would win easily, so didnot really care about alternative moves. When I checked the answer I came to see the pawn move, that is much better than the queen move, and that leads easily to win the game. Therefore, the old saying "always look for a better move when you see a good move" is worth rembembering. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <YouRang> beat me to it: "When you see a good move, look for a better one." Qxf8 does lead to a Knight fork of Black's King and Queen, putting Black the exchange ahead. But 37.d6 is a killer! I think if Black had replied with ...Be6, he would've been slightly better off than he was with Nd5. That Bishop is in the way of his Rook and Queen mutually defending one another.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: At a glance, the fork trick comes to our mind but giving a second thought one would look for a better move & so 37.d6 is crushing move as Black can neither grab the Queen nor play 37...exd6 leaving his own Queen in danger. Hence, Black is defenseless & no point in playing 37...Nd5. This little lovely combo adds to the pleasant feeling at the end to the drab ding dong battle.
Aug-08-07  uuft: Here's another saying that's kind of appropriate: if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

"The fork jumped straight into my eye, Your Honour." Little help, here... :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of just winning an exchange after 37. Qxf8+ Kxf8 38. Nd7+ , White uses the deflections 37. d6! and 38. d7+ to win a whole piece for today's puzzle solution.
Aug-08-07  mworld: Just coincidence that the board position at move 2 is like our GMT game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Crowaholic> Thanks for following up on it. You covered all possibilities!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <But... it's usually considered to be a correct solution to the puzzle when 1) The move goes straight for a kill 2) You gain sufficient advantage to "claim the game", usually material and rarely, positional advantage.>

<> has always been admant that the correct solution to a puzzle is the best move/line available. I saw the fork immediately, but knew that couldn't be a Wednesday puzzle.

Aug-21-07  prinsallan: Haha, missed the reply from Beginner... Of course I meant Qxf8, not Qxf7 (see my first post). ^^
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