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Konstantin Rufovich Sakaev vs Vladimir Kramnik
URS-ch U18 (1989), Pinsk BLR, Jan-??
Dutch Defense: Queen's Knight Variation (A85)  ·  1-0



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Given 48 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-12-16  Exploding: <refutor> Kramnik was still a kid at that point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A perfect example of how positional genius can be helpless against the antipositional DIRP!
Dec-22-17  stacase: Now that I've looked up DIRP and don't know what it means -

I got the first three moves which were rather obvious and thought about bringing up the Knight .... Oh well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: ChessHigherCat: I found the first 3 moves quickly because the bishop sacrifice isn't really a sacrifice at all, since black wins the piece back immediately with h6 (not to mention blowing the castle wide open). At that point I couldn't figure out how to bring the other pieces into play quick enough. Ne2 seemed to invite counterplay with d3 and I thought Nh3 was impossible because of Qxh4+ followed by Qxh6. That was a major oversight (or rather "undersight") on my part, because Qxh4+ Nf2 with the discovered attack on the queen would force it back to d8, allowing white to play h7+ and if Kf8 h8>Q Bxh8 Rxh8#! Kh8 looks slightly better but white still wins the rook with Qxf7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Friday (13. ?) puzzle, I calculated White's first three moves 13. Bxh6 Bxh6 14. Qxg6+ Bg7 15. h6 easy enough.

However, after 15...Rf7 I struggled finding a strong follow-up for White's 16th move. The best I could come up with was 16. Nb4 which gives White a near winning advantage after 16...Nd7 (16...Qf6 17. h5! +-) 17. hxg7 to +- (+1.65 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 8).

Much stronger is the game continuation with White's strong reply 16. Nh3! cxd5 17. Ng5 +- (+4.11 @ 32 ply, stockfish 8).

However, just as strong or even stronger is 16. h7+! Kh8 (16...Kf8 17. Qh6!! +-) 17. Qxf7 +- (+4.39 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 8).

P.S.: For an improvement, our Opening Explorer indicates the second player has had more success with the computer choice 6...dxe5 = (0.00 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 8) as in Black's win in Korchnoi vs Lombardy, 1979.

Clearly, 6...dxe5 = is better than the game move 6...Nh5? 7. g4! (+0.80 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8).

Dec-22-17  Walter Glattke: 21.-Rxg7 22.Qe8# or 21.-Bd7 22.Qh7#
Dec-22-17  leRevenant: <refutor: weak game by kramnik...are you sure this wasn't played by mrs. kramnik instead of vladimir kramnik? ;)>

For the Sake'v argument,

<refutor> 's 2003 comment is politically /socially rather dubious in the post-Weinstein era.

Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: 13.B:h6 B:h6
(13...cd5 14.B:g7 K:g7 15.Q:g6+ )
14.Q:g6+ Bg7 15.h6 Rf7 16.h7+ Kh8 17.Q:f7
as far as I got
Premium Chessgames Member
  Inedit2: MoonlitKnight: He was 14.

But Sakaev was 15 ...

Dec-22-17  mel gibson: I saw the first move straight away.
Black plays better using the computer but is still 2 pawns down after 17 plies:

13. Bxh6 (13. Bxh6
(♗c1xh6 c6xd5 ♗h6xg7 ♔g8xg7 ♕g2xg6+ ♔g7-h8 ♕g6-h6+ ♔h8-g8 ♘g1-h3 ♕d8-f6 ♖h1-g1+ ♔g8-f7 ♖g1-g6 ♕f6xh4+ ♘h3-f2 ♔f7-e8 c4xd5 ♘b8-d7 ♗f1-b5 a7-a6 ♖g6-e6+ ♔e8-d8 ♗b5xd7 ♖f8-g8 ♖e6-g6 ♖g8xg6 ♕h6-f8+ ♔d8-c7 h5xg6 ♕h4-g5 ♗d7-b5) +2.15/17 107)

score for white +2.15 depth 17

Dec-22-17  beenthere240: Black enters the combo already a piece down, so white has capital to spend.
Dec-22-17  TheaN: Friday 22 December 2017


Typically for a Friday, the first three moves are obvious and as good as forced:

<13.Bxh6 Bxh6 (cxd5 14.Bxg7 / Qa5+ 14.b4!) 14.Qxg6+ Bg7 15.h6 Rf7.>

Now the next move is a little bit less obvious, but in itself this exchange of moves can't be bad for White. I didn't see Nh3, but it's winning on the account of discovered defense:

<16.Nh3 Qxh4+ (otherwise Ng5 wins) 17.Nf2! and winning.>

Not too hard for a Friday.

Dec-22-17  TheaN: Perhaps an interesting variation to consider after my line is 17....Qxh1 after which 18.Nf6+! wins the fastest:

<17....Qxh1 18.Nf6+ Kf8 (Rxf6 19.Qxg7#) 19.hxg7+ Kd7 (Rxg7 20.Qe8#) 20.g8=Q> and Black's done: mate in seven, to be exact. Have to admit I did not calculate that ^^.

Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: On
13.B:h6 cd5 14.B:g7 Qa5+ 15.Kd1 K:g7 16.Q:g6+ Kh8 17.h6 Rg8 18.Qf6+ Kh7 18.Nh3 Bd7 19.Ng5+ R:g5 20.hg5 Ba4+
21.Ke2 winning
Dec-22-17  njchess: Good grief! How did Kramnik get himself into this mess?!!?
Dec-22-17  Sularus: In this database, Kramnik played this opening [A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3] only four times, drawing 3 and losing 1 (this game).
Dec-22-17  Sularus: that is exactly right, chris :)
Dec-22-17  saturn2: You get the first 3 moves when you know it is a puzzle. Not so obvious for me was that black cannot play 13..cxNd5.
Dec-22-17  Marmot PFL: Kramnik had a wild and crazy youth before settling down.
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: Got the first 3 moves, but didn't understand 16)Nh3. Looked like 16)...Qxh4+ would have been a better response for Black than 16)...cxd5. Can someone help explain?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <swclark25> Qxh4+ is a terrible trap, I explained it in the last sentence of my post above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for two pawns.

Black threatens cxd5.

White can start an attack against the black king with 13.Bxh6:

A) 13... Bxh6 14.Qxg6+

A.1) 14... Bg7 15.h6

A.1.a) 15... Qd7 16.hxg7 Qxg7 (16... Rf7 17.Nf6+ wins a whole rook) 17.Ne7+ Kh8 18.Qh5+ Qh7 19.Ng6+ followed by 20.Qxh7+ and 21.Nxf8 wins a whole rook.

A.1.b) 15... Rf7 16.h7+ Kf8 (16... Kh8 17.Qxf7 wins an exchange) 17.Qh6

A.1.b.i) 17... Bxh6 18.h8=Q#.

A.1.b.ii) 17... cxd5 18.h8=Q+ wins decisive material.

A.1.b.iii) 17... Ke8 18.h8=Q+ Bxh8 19.Qxh8+ Rf8 (19... Kd7 20.Qxd8+ Kxd8 21.Nb4 + - [N vs p]) 20.Qxe5+ Kd7 (20... Kf7 21.Qc7+ Nd7 -21... Qxc7 22.Nxc7 wins a rook; 21... Kg8 22.Qxd8 Rxd8 23.Nc7 wins a rook- 22.Qxd8 Rxd8 23.Nf4 + - [N vs p]) 21.Qg7+ (21.Nf4 Re8 - +) followed by Nf4 ends a piece up.

A.2) 14... Kh8 15.Qxh6+ Kg8 16.Ne2 seems to win (16... cxd5 17.Rg1+ Kf6 18.Qh6+ Ke7 19.Rg7+ Rf7 20.Qg5+ wins).

B) 13... cxd5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qxg6+ Kh8 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Nh3 Qxh4+ 18.Kd1 looks similar to A.2.

Dec-22-17  WhiteRook48: I think White is supposed to play 13. Bxh6, with 13...Bxh6 14 Qxg6+ Bg7 15 h6 or something like that. Which is a pretty powerful position but I don't see a checkmate to follow.

Upon 13...cxd5, 14 Bxg7 when 14...Kxg7 runs into something like 15 Qxg6+ Kh8 16 Qh6+ Kg8 and then something like 17 Rh3 with Rg3+ ideas. (After 13...cxd5 14 Bxg7, if Black does not capture the bishop he's pretty much screwed anyway. The bishop can withdraw from the g-file and White is still threatening Qxg6+ ideas.

Huh. Okay it looks like I saw up to 15 h6 Rf7, but I didn't see 16 Nh3 or anything like that. Had I played this attack it would have lost momentum halfway through.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Congrats to <ChrisOwen> on reaching 6000 kibitzes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Cowection: I meant Qxh4+ is a <tewwible twap>
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