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Yuri Averbakh vs Alexander Kotov
"Think Like a Grandmaster" (game of the day Jan-22-2006)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 14, Sep-23
Old Indian Defense: Normal Variation (A55)  ·  0-1



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Given 28 times; par: 71 [what's this?]

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sac: 30...Qxh3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: <once> Sad to hear about Daniel Freeman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> Thanks for letting us know of the passing of CG co-founder Daniel Freeman. I only knew him by correspondence, which was always cordial and professional, and by the great product he produced here on a daily basis.

My sympathies to his friends and family. Even though I was only a customer and fellow member, I will miss him.

Jul-31-18  saturn2: <Once> Got it now. Sorry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It may have been easy. I found the first move but then failed to find a win...

Yes it is sad about Daniel Freeman.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: By the way I suspect Kotov just took a risk as with a King in his camp he decided there would be sure to be some way to win, whether it was forced is another matter...
Jul-31-18  AlicesKnight: <malt> - <once> and others - agreed. Thank you Daniel Freeman.
Jul-31-18  zb2cr: The only reason this could be considered "easy" is that the game is so famous. Many of us have seen it before, and remember at least 30. ... Qxh3+; 31. Kxh3, Rh6+; 32. Kg4, Nf6+ at least and that repetition of moves was available. Not all of the details of the King hunt need be found.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Because this is presented as a puzzle I was willing to sac the queen, on spec, for the sake of the king hunt. There was nothing else to try. I would never have found the right path over the board, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Gawain,

"I was willing to sac the queen, on spec..."


" I would never have found the right path over the board, though."

Don't worry about it. Kotov sacced his Queen on spec and did not find the win OTB.

From moves 33 to 40 Kotov repeats the position taking a pawn on move 38 to avoid a three fold rep. The game was adjourned at move 40 and Kotov worked out the win from his hotel room.

Jul-31-18  jrredfield: from Wikipedia:

Co-founder and longtime webmaster Daniel Freeman died on July 24, 2018, at the age of 51. The site is currently being administered on an interim basis by a user with the handle "Sargon", a longtime friend and business partner of Freeman's who had assisted him with management of the site at various times.

Jul-31-18  unrepentant: Wouldn't 33. Ng4 lead to a much faster mate? I think the maximum would be mate in 4.

if 33. ... Ng4 34. Kg4 Rg8+ 35. Kf5 Rf6 mate

if 33. ... Ng4 34. Bh4 Rf8+ 35. Bf6 Rf6+ Kg4 36. Rg6+ and Rh5mate

if 33. ... Ng4 34. Bh4 Rf8+ 35. Kg4 Rh4 mate

Did I make a mistake?

Jul-31-18  PJs Studio: One of my favorite games. Think like a super Grandmaster.
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: <unrepentant> problem with 33...Ng4 is white can respond with 34.Nxf4. Per Stockfish, even this move favors Black (-4.61 at 29 ply), but white is still not mated through move 54.
Jul-31-18  Howard: But doesn't Bronstein state in his very well-known book that 33...Ng4 would have been better, anyway?
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Thanks <Sally Simpson> I saw that Kotov was repeating moves to get to time control. Which naturally means home analysis! (I hadn't thought about that.) That does make me feel better.

It is also some consolation to hear that <Sargon> is picking up the reins.

Jul-31-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

10.dxe5 dxe5 11.h3 Qc7 12.Be3 Bc5 13.Qd3 Qb6 14.Na4 Qb4 15.b3 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 b6 17.a3 Qe7 18.b4 + / = (0.50) Depth: 13 dpa
10.dxe5 dxe5
+ / = (0.42 --) Depth: 14 dpa

10.h3 Qc7 11.d5 b6 12.Be3 Bb7 13.b4 Be7 14.Bd3 h6 15.a3 Rac8 16.Rac1 Rf8 17.Qe2 Rfe8 18.Rc2 a5 19.dxc6 Qxc6 20.Nd5 Qa4 21.Nxe7+ Rxe7 + / = (0.50) Depth: 21 dpa
10.h3 h6
+ / = (0.42 --) Depth: 22 dpa

<10.d5> h6 11.Be3 Ng4 12.Bd2 Ngf6 13.Rac1 a5 14.b3 Nc5 15.Be3 Qc7 16.h3 Bd7 17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.Nd2 Rad8 19.Nf1 Bc8 20.Ne3 b6 21.a3 Be7 22.Qd3 g6 23.Ng4 Nxg4 24.Bxg4 Bb7 25.Rd2 Qd6 + / = (0.45) Depth: 27 dpa

Jul-31-18  unrepentant: SWClark25, Thank you! I missed that obviously.
Jul-31-18  FrogC: It's a famously brilliant, and hence difficult, combination.
Jul-31-18  1stboard: What does white do if black plays 33 Nh5 ??

Looks like all sorts of threats for black... Rf8 , Rg8 , etc ( not to mention potential discover check on h file by black .....

Am I missing something ??

Jul-31-18  reti: My condolences to the family of this site webmaster. He truly developed a wonderful site, where people can share their opinions and knowledge of the game. It is also sad to read that he was only 51 years old. Very sad day, indeed.
Jul-31-18  JohnBoy: I donít see how snagging the d5 pawn, mid combo, helps black. It just seems to add options for white.
Jul-31-18  shivasuri4: <1stboard>, both 33...Nd7 and 33...Nh5 win for Black. 34. Rg5 is the expected reply for either move.

<JohnBoy>, perhaps Kotov was attempting to merely reach the time control without having a three-fold repetition occur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi JohnBoy,

Kotov, apparently in time trouble, 'snagged' the d5 pawn to avoid repeating the position so he could reach move 40 and seal.

The instructive move is the Queen sacrifice because looking at the following moves it is obvious Kotov did not work it our before playing it, he did it on intuition.

I suspect Kotov saw he had at the very least a perpetual so went for it. This is a very common ploy..I've used it and so has Botvinnik.

J L Hammer vs Krasenkow, 2014 (kibitz #56)

(I've just mentioned me and Botvinnik in the same sentence!)

Aug-01-18  CHESSTTCAMPS: An obvious king hunt opportunity, where attention to detail is needed:

30... Qxh3+!! and now

A. 31.Kxh3 Rh6+ 32.Kg4 (Bh4 Rxh4#) Nf6+ 33.Kf5 (Kg5 Rh5#) Nd7! (key move to keep the king contained) 34.Rg6 (otherwise 34... Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Rg8+ 36.Kf5 Rf6#) Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Rxg6+ 36.Kh5 Rg5+ 37.Kh4 (Kh6 Rbg8 and mate next) Rbg8 38.(any) Rg4+ 39.Kh5 R8g5+ 40.Kh6 Bf8#

B. 31.Kg1 Rh6 32.Be1 Qh1+ 33.Kf2 Bh4+ 34.Ng3 Bxg3+ 35.Nxg3 fxg3+ 36.Rxg3 Rh2+ wins a rook plus a minor piece.

B.1 32.Bg3, B.2 32. Bh4, and B.3 32.Be3, the moves that give the WK an escape square, all toss a bishop immediately, with more losses to follow.

Still, I'd rate this problem higher difficulty, even if the direction of the solution is clear at first inspection.

Aug-01-18  CHESSTTCAMPS: I thought it was TLAGM. Regardless, I missed the game defense (34.Rg5 instead of Rg6) and therefore the key component of the complete solution. It would still be a challenging exercise to redo, even after seeing the end of the game played out.
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