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Raymond Keene vs Vladimir Kovacevic
"Ray of Sunshine" (game of the day Jan-29-2006)
Amsterdam IBM-B (1973), Amsterdam NED, rd 11, Jul-30
Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack: General (A06)  ·  1-0



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Given 53 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [407 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-21-13  quinlan: Please notice that Keene has the best overall record of all GMs on list (77.1%), except Morphy (84.6%)! So, why his highest rating achieved in database is only 2510? Have no explanation for that! I think he is undeservedly underrated, but donīt know why. Itīs very strange, because his style is really sharp and nice when attacking!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: My high percentage. It's probably caused by too many wins against not so strong opponents. Sad but true. Happy new year to all chess fans!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 22. Ra7 came as a shock to me too. I never even looked at it.
Jan-10-15  dfcx: white to move. 22.?

22.Ra7 deflecting the queen
22...Qxa7 23.Nxc6 Qd7 24.Nxe7+ Kg7 25.Qh5 wins

OK I did not see 23...Qa2 but 24.Nxe7+ Kg7
25. Nxf4+ wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Feb-23-09 YoGoSuN: If this was a chessgames puzzle, NOBODY would get it... a true brilliancy!>

If this WERE a chessgames puzzle...

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I doubt that I would have solved this one had the puzzle been 20.White to play. Brilliant combination, but my favorite move was 14.Ra2!, allowing the easy doubling on the a-file and taking control of the Queen side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Once one spots the key idea 22.Ra7, the rest follows naturally.
Jan-10-15  garuffa: 23...Ba3 then NxQ and BxB and the game is equal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one knight down.

White would like to place the knight on f5, threatening the black bishop and the black king. This suggests 22.Ra7 Qxa7 (else White recovers the piece and the white bishop becomes the owner of one half of the board) 23.Nxf5

A) 23... <bishop moves> 24.Qg4+ Nxg4 (24... Kh8 25.Qg7#) 25.Nh6#.

B) 23... Re8 24.Bxf6

B.1) 24... Bxf6 25.Qxe8#.

B.2) 24... Ra8 25.Qg4+ (25.Nd6 Qd7) 25... Kf8 26.Nd6 Qa1+ 27.Bxa1 Rxa1+ 28.Kg2 + - [Q+P vs R].

B.3) 24... Rb8(c8) is even worse for Black than A.2.b (27... Rxa1+ is not possible).

C) 23... Ra8 24.Nxe7+

C.1) 24... Kf8 25.Bxf6 and White has recovered some material while keeping the attack. For example, 25... Nd7 26.Nxc6 Qb7 27.Be7+ Kg7 (27... Ke8 28.Bc5+ Ne5 29.Qxe5+ with material advantage and a winning attack) 28.Qg4+ Kh8 (28... Kh6 29.Qg5#) 29.Ne5 looks winning (29... Nxe5 30.Bf6#).

C.2) 24... Kg7 25.Qg4+ Kf8 (25... Kh8 26.Bxf6#; 25... Kh6 26.Nf5#) 25... Kf8 26.Bxf6 Ke8 27.Nxc6 followed by Ne5 creates a mating net.

C.3) 24... Kh8 25.Bxf6#.

D) 23... Rb8 and 23... Rc8 expose the rook to a knight fork and White would emerge one or two pawns ahead and keeping some attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Bad day. I thought that the queen sac in my line A was one of the keys of the position without even realizing that it does not work since the evident 25... Nxh6 leaves White with just one piece.

This faulty sac led to overlook 23.Nxc6.

However, according to Stockfish, after 23.Nxf5 h6 (23... Ba3 24.Nh6+ Kg7 25.Qg4+ Kxh6 26.Bxf6 Rg8 27.Qh4+ Kg6 28.Qg5#; 23... Bd8 24.Qh5, this sac is correct, and mate soon) 24.Nxe7+ Kh7 25.Bxf6 White seems to keep a slight edge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: When solving puzzles, its a good idea to count material first as this may provide a clue as to the nature of the initial move

This I did not do, and in hindisight, I wish I did, since a simple head-count would've revealed that Black is a piece ahead and thus White needs to move with a certain urgency and decisiveness

After some trial-and-error, I finally found <22.Ra7> but after 22...Qxa7 I went with 23.Nxf5 (Instead of 23.Nxc6)

click for larger view

White plans 24.Qd2 followed by 25.Qg5+

PM: Marvelous game by GM Keene!


Jan-10-15  gofer: Nice to see a <Ray Keene> game and also one where he's winning. But one first has to say that in this position black is already a piece up, so throwing away another piece might not be the best strategy, but it looks pretty good!

<22 Ra7 ...>

White offers another piece, which is difficult to refuse. If black does refuse, white wins back its lost piece AND probably wins either Pc6 or Pf5 and starts a rather nasty attack on the a1-h8 diagonal with an open g file...

<22 ... Qxa7>
<23 Nxc6 ...>

Black must find a way of protecting Qa7, Be7 and Bf6, there are lots of choices, but they all seem pretty horrid!

23 ... Qc7/Qd7
24 Nxe7+ Kg7
25 Qh5! winning

23 ... Qa4/Qa2
24 Nxe7+ Kg7
25 Nxf5+ Kg6
26 Ne7+ mating

So black must give up its queen, to save itself, but what is the best trade it can get for the lady?

<23 ... Re8>
<24 Nxa7 Ba3>

At this point white <should> choose to give up the bishop and find some neat way to exploit black's loose pieces. The alternative of trading back queens still probably wins, but it seems a bit cowardly. <26 Qxe8+ Nxe8 27 Bxa6 > white is a pawn up and blacks pawns are all disconnected, so a clear win, but there seems to be better...

<25 Qd2 Bxb2>
<26 c3! ...>

The bishop is attacked AND the knight on f6 is attacked it is impossible to protect both and so black has to
give up the bishop for a pawn.

<26 ... Bxc3>
<27 Qxc3 ...>

click for larger view

From here white is winning, there are all manner of tricks available and nothing great for black...


Well, I think I saw everything, well nearly everything!

Jan-10-15  wooden nickel: "Ain't No Sunshine" for me!
I got it in 2 seconds... unfortunately only after giving up and reading the solution! I kept trying to make 22. Nxc6 work which only would have been good a move earlier in the game.
Jan-10-15  Ratt Boy: <garuffa: 23...Ba3 then NxQ and BxB and the game is equal.>

23...♗a3 24.♗xf6, ♕ moves 25.♕h5 closes the door. We are not smarter than GM Keene.

Jan-10-15  varishnakov: First I looked at 22.NxP(QB) then I found the rook move.

22.R-R7 QxR 23.NxP(QB) Q-Q2 24.NxB+ and the king would cause the horse to be pinned.

I did not look for or see the defensive possibilities mentioned by Keene.

Jan-10-15  mel gibson: Must admit - I didn't see move 22.

Deep Rybka4 64 bit saw it with only 1 second allowed.

Computers are better!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Once again, another POTD with a purple link (last visited January 1st). Once again, I failed to see the first move.
Jan-10-15  schachfuchs: Ratt Boy: <garuffa: 23...Ba3 then NxQ and BxB and the game is equal.> 23...♗a3 24.♗xf6, ♕ moves 25.♕h5 closes the door. ?!

As Keene states already: 23...Ba3! (Best) 24.Bxf6 Qa4! is highly unclear: 25.Oh5 Qg4

Jan-10-15  alfiepa: Ra7 for me !!! ( three ) exlamative points :-)
Jan-10-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Black has an extra knight, but also a terrible gash in the castled king position. White is in fine position to storm into the breach.

22.Ra7!! (Not unusually deep, but very pretty.) Qxa7

There is no viable way to decline, e.g. Qd8 23.Nxc6 or 22... Qe8 23.Rxe7 allow tempo-gaining recovery of the piece followed by a finishing attack.

23.Nxc6 and now:

(A) 23... Qd7 (to defend f5) 24.Nxe7+ Kg7 (Kh8? 25.Bxf6#) 25.Qh5 Qxe7 26.Qg5+ Kh8 27.Bxf6+ Qxf6 28.Qxf6+ Kg8 29.Qxc6 and either the N or d-pawn must fall as well.

A.1) 24... Qxe7 25.Qxe7 Ne8|h5 (Ng4 26.Qg5#) 26.Qg5+ Ng7 27.Qxg7#

A.2) 25... h6 26.Nxf5+ Kg8 (Qxf5 27.Qxf5 Nbd7 28.Qxd7) 27.Bxf6 wins quickly.

A.3) 25... Rg8 26.Nxf5+ Kf8 27.Qxh6+! Ke8 28.Qxf6 with 2 pawns for the exchange plus a winning bind, e.g. 28... Qe6 29.Ng7+ wins

B) 23... Qa2 24.Nxe7+ Kg7 25.Nxf5+ Kg6 (Kg8 26.Ne7+ Kg7 27.Qg4+ Kh6 28.Nf5#) 26.Ne7+ Kh6 27.Qe3+ Kh5 (Kg7 28.Qg5+) 28.Qe5+ Kh6 29.Bc1+ Kg7 30.Qg5+ wins.

Line B seems to work for the other feasible queen moves at move 23. That's all I have time for.

Today I found my first (and only) candidate very quickly, unlike the previous 2 POTDs.

Time for review...

Jan-10-15  Strelets: One of the weaknesses that can be hard to overcome is the tendency to see a line like 21.Nxc6 Qxc6 22.Qe7 and stop calculating. White is clearly much better (the dark squares around Black's king are essentially Swiss cheese), but a much more creative possibility lies waiting in the wings; namely 21.Bxf5!! Grandmaster Keene finds and plays it and furthermore demonstrates in his notes that Kovačević was probably lost even with best defense. It goes back to the Alekhine principle: you've found a good move? Great, now look for a better one.
Jan-10-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Not sure why I failed to consider 25.Nxg8 in A.3, but fortunately, black resigned already!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A da da dum divergence lane beset a mecurial bind ash aids duo acts a better glide a rook up a7 aint half too bad padre f6 again sight long distance queen rich hue to gain e7 verdict um bless right rook a far go bad brother almighty rambles arriving to bat of beater riff f5 starts the ball rolling lane fetch amp dead an d7 a key in het up light giving his all why in wag brevity rail fetch dare feels about right lovely dispatch in at 22.Ra7 hush up hinch a lift hash head hop scotch in safe ho ho to have two fat ladies d7 angles e7 ment too line up again have spark low in c6 a sight d7 shouldnt have given leeway dipends badge c6 of honour reclaim assumes a vet antioch hive ascribe at path knight ford river tickle arbiter evermore nearly decisive aileron amazing grace c6 backs change in the wind knight an rook aethers affable aidings and abbetted alimony amorphs into a good white line on analogy rates aperture arrives at the gate a monarch g8 attunes his ear is there danger d7 surely there is it seems in manage augment axeings radiating outward it arduous in arrives to of age any og hurt d7 safe give eg affix a cut i curry favour ave a sure fag flange 7d glare focus an a3 tangle a mind over straight port of call for certainly an interesting line fall give spark training sights an eon glass ceiling rafflings railworks and rangeings too like f5,

rapunzels hair feels raucously ravissimo sweet account accents on light to prove a win c4 as a good start accrue and accost queen house rules gammy catch mag caught cage man mash tier hatter giddy on game count seat in be 22...Qxa7 23.Nxc6 Qd7 or chest erm in a tour free again to try 23.Ba3 24.Nxa7 Bxb2 one point behind beyond a nagging tendency to favour light create a passer vent ash c4 well on the way cuff of the wisp chalk up am plus 24.Nxe7+ better eg i ment h5 comes headed it fine ive if calf aim g8 as left low grateful and good aim in no time like over h5 after band like g5 break see if you clear up again creak c6,

confide and bonafide in fiefdom g8 hunt and gets going queen knight church of reason e7 capture off queen sidestep wrong in for measure fifth of a dram figure gift it was a fish around in a jiffy bags flick back luft miffed it eddy a wave in e7 nifty in lights camp i wag fine flipside black on the end finish horse foil pilfer d7 quiff to casual rift fir bank flit over in among horse fulfil i got five get a whiff fix again fizzle out sift and gift in rich eternal knight exactly engages a bib i gas ebbings and flow ecumens off burnin g8 effigies eggings on elegies soar engross epidural equator quench e7 errings in side of caution a safe entered domain e7 eunichs march everyone at extents inter glides egghead eg ghost g8 an ghoul f8 out of commission change of clothes and direction as heading ghoulash serve at g8 check he to give eh to gain hogger it haggle in head h5 borough bet rough gem trough gel over h5 sage block blink blank black bags each be at gas balance eg a basic call h5 baulk lane g5 up ply in light at give 24...Kg7 25.Qh5 pieces a oomph queen hades beckons for black on a cycle kind of bust after a d7 applies the trade light wins the exchange off re you f6 too have in sight flocks around a g8 again rage off g8 calm despatch a monarch g8 retakes gainsake swarming a nest hone h5 an overs 25...Rg8 26.Nxg8 Kxg8 27.Bxf6 or go g5 queen piece behind yet capture g8 and king ghosting along back rank a b2 ulterior motive gains f6 and black shattered plus very weak dark squares.

Jan-10-15  thegoldenband: This is one of those positions I find so interesting, in that I spotted 22. Ra7 almost instantly and knew it was the right move, even though my calculations afterward were desultory at best. Yet I'm not a particularly strong player, and surely am not 1/10 as strong as Keene's opponent who overlooked it.

So why do I spot it and other, better players don't? Maybe my laziness and lack of talent are a weird asset in positions like these, looking for thunderbolt moves or outlandish choices because I know Dvoretskyian precision is beyond me.

I'm the same way in pool, going for ridiculous low-percentage trick shots and occasionally making them, while I can't consistently make routine shots. Ah, well.

Jan-10-15  Bycotron: Move 22, white to play.

White has sacrificed a piece and enjoys good prospects against black's King in consequence. The pawn structure around his Majesty is damaged and white's Bishop enjoys a deadly view of things to come.

The immediate tactical idea that springs to mind is removing the guard of the Be7, capturing it, and subsequently capturing the Nf6 and mating the black King.

The two direct attempts (22.Nxc6 and 22.Nxf5) do not appear to lead to a clear result. eg 22.Nxf5 Qxf5 23.Qxe7 Nbd7 or 22.Nxc6 Qxc6 23.Qxe7 Nbd7.

White now realizes that he must kill that Nf6 without allowing Nbd7 defending it. One idea immediately presents itself if a player is bold enough to spot it.

22.Ra7 with the idea that the Be7 will fall with check, hopefully buying time to kill the Nf6.

23.Nxc6 Qc7 unfortunately her Majesty cannot defend the Nf6! 24.Nxe7+ Kg7 and black wants to play Nbd7 next as in the previous line 25.Nxf5+ gaining time and giving the Queen access to g4 and h5 if the Nf6 should be pinned to the black King by the Bb2. 25...Kg6 is the only square that defends the Nf6 (else 26.Bxf6) 26.Ne7+ Kg7 again the only square that defends the Nf6 (else 27.Bxf6) 27.Qg4+ 1-0

I feel like I saw that rather clearly and quickly (~5 minutes), now I just hope this answer is correct. I tell ya, for a class A player who hasn't played much in four years I feel like these puzzles are a good way to help me get back into the game! Hail!!!

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