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Sergey Dolmatov vs Joel Lautier
Reykjavik Open (1988), Reykjavik ISL, rd 5, Feb-28
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Amsterdam Variation (B93)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-27-09  griga262: One thing that sets Dolmatov apart from everyone else is that he apparently started playing chess at least six years before being born. Consider these quotes on his profile page:

(1) Years covered: 1953 to 2005

(2) Sergey Viktorovich Dolmatov was born on the 20th of February 1959

I am proud of my former countryman!

Feb-27-09  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult):

Dolmatov vs Lautier, 1988 (21.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N for B. The Black Kg8 has 1 legal move, h1, on the same diagonal as the White Bc3. The Black Bf6 is on the same diagonal as the White Bc3, obscured by the White Nd4, and it is attacked by Rf1 along the semi-open f-file. The White Ra1 can reload Rf1. The White Qd3 has a semi-open rank. The White Kh1 is vulnerable to back-rank mates but is secure from checks.

Candidates (21.): Rxf6, Ne6, Nc6

21.Nc6 (threatening 22.Rxf6)

Black can decline by moving Qd8:

(1) 21…Qc1 22.Rxf6 gxf6 23.Ne7+

(2) 21…Qe1 22.Rxf6 gxf6 [else, drop at least Pd6] 23.Qg3+ then Bxf6#

Black can accept the sacrifice of Nc6:

(3) 21…bxc6 [Bxc6 is worse]

22.Rxf6 (threatening 23.Rh6 g6, with hopeless dark-square weaknesses in the K-position)

22…gxf6 23.Rf1 (threatening 24.Qg3+ Kh8 25.Bxf6+)

To avoid mate, Black must give up Q for B, leaving White with Q for B+R and positional advantage.

Feb-27-09  johnlspouge: < <Once> wrote: [snip] The black Bf6 is clearly the target. But it turns out that taking with the rook is stronger than taking with the bishop. [snip] >

This type of decision became a lot easier for me, after I started explicitly deciding which capturing piece should remain after the smoke clears. The B kills the dark-square weaknesses in the K-position.

Feb-27-09  MiCrooks: lol that's pretty funny! I didn't even notice that there were a couple of comments on the game from five years ago!!

swarm - don't think that Rxd6 is best after Rc8. Qg3 looks better and even then after Qc7 (prob best) it seems better to pile on and create other weaknesses than it does to take the pawn. It's not going away!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <johnlspouge: ... I started explicitly deciding which capturing piece should remain after the smoke clears. >

John - that's an interesting distinction, for which many thanks. Our natural instinct is to think about the piece which does the capturing because that is the most active piece. But you are quite right that is more important to think the pieces that get left behind. I had not thought about it that way before.

I recall a quote from an old chess book (I own far too many, at least according to my wife): the inexperienced player counts the number of pieces back in the box; the master focusses on the pieces remaining on the table. I suppose it's the same principle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Four white pieces aim at the black castle and the QR could incorporate into attack via a3, e1 or f1. The convergence of the DSB and the KR on f6 suggests Bxf6 (after a knight move) or Rxf6. After 21.Rxf6 Qxf6 22.Ne6 Qg6, Black seems to have enough defense. Therefore, 21.Nc6:

A) 21... bxc6 22.Rxf6

A.1) 22... gxf6 23.Qg3+ Kh8 24.Qh4

A.1.a) 24... Kg7 25.Qg5+ Kh8 26.Bxf6+ Qxf6 27.Qxf6+ Kg8 28.Ra3 .

A.1.b) 24... Re8 25.Bxf6+ Qxf6 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Qxd6 .

A.2) 22... Qe7 23.Re1

A.2.a) 23... Qxe1+ 24.Bxe1 gxf6 25.Qg3+ Kh8 26.Bc3 .

A.2.b) 23... Be6 24.Qg3 cxd5 (or 24... Kh8) 25.Qxg7+ Kxg7 26.Rfxe6+ .

A.2.c) 23... Qd8 24.bxc6 Bxc6 25.Rxd6 Qc8 26.Qd4 f6 27.Qc4+ .

A.3) 22... Qc7 23.bxc6

A.3.a) 23... gxf6 24.Qg3+ Kh8 25.Bxf6#.

A.3.b) 23... Qxc6 24.Rxd6 .

A.3.c) 23... Bxc6 24.Rxd6 followed by a queen’s side pawn roll combined with threats against the black castle. Perhaps, that’s enough to win (White is a pawn up and has much better position).

A.4) 22... cxd5 23.Rxd6 followed by Rxd5 is similar to A.3.c).

A.5) 22... c5 23.Qg3 followed by Raf1, h4, etc. 23.Rxd6 Qe7 24.Qg3 f6 looks less convincing to me.

B) 21... Qc7 22.Bxf6

B.1) 22... bxc6 23.Qg3 g6 24.Qg5 followed by Qh6 .

B.2) 22... gxf6 23.Ne7+

B.2.a) 23... Kh8 24.Qd4 h6 25.Rxf6 Kh7 (25... Qc5 26.Rg6+) 26.Qf4 .

B.2.b) 23... Kg7 24.Qg3+ Kh8 (24... Kh6 25.Rf4) 25.Qh4 .

Time to post and check.

Feb-27-09  JG27Pyth: I thought it started Rxf6 and I couldn't find a good continuation...which isn't so bad, but after looking at the text, I still can't find the continuation. Head feels like an oil-soaked rag this morning. I'm going back to bed... wake me when it's Monday.
Feb-27-09  whiteshark: wow ♘d4 just stands in the way, blocking ♗c3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 21. Nc6! clearance combination sacrifice discovers a winning attack on Black's dark-squared Bishop and King-side. It also solves today's Friday puzzle.

If 22...gxf6, then 23.Qg3+ Kh8 24.Qh4 wins as noted by <agb2002>.

If 22...Qc7, then 23. Ra4! h5 24. Rh6! opens up a winning attack on Black's King-side.

Feb-27-09  YouRang: Jeez, that was a good answer. It makes my answer look so lame that I don't even want to say what it was. :-(

Okay, here is my lame answer:

21.Rxf6 <hoping for 21...gxf6 22.Qg3+ Kh8 23.Qg6 Nc6 (clearance sac) & 24.Qg5! & 25.Bxf6+ > Qxf6 <darn! he didn't fall for it>

22.Ne6! <discovered attack on Q, and hoping for 22...Qh6 23.Bxg7 > Qg6 <darn again>

23.Nxf8 <recovering the exchange> Rxf8 <better than ...Kxf8 as it activates the rook and keeps the king on a closed file>

24.Qxg6 fxg6

The material is even, but by golly, I've got better pawn structure! 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <The material is even, but by golly, I've got better pawn structure! 1-0>

<YouRang> That gave me a good laugh this morning!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Got this one fairly quickly, nice clearance sac to open up the exchange sac on f6.
Feb-27-09  johnlspouge: < <Once> wrote: John - that's an interesting distinction, for which many thanks. [snip] the inexperienced player counts the number of pieces back in the box; the master focusses on the pieces remaining on the table. I suppose it's the same principle. >

I get a lot out of your posts, <Once>. It took me a while to get your point here, but yes, it is the same principle.

Feb-27-09  onesax: I saw the first two moves quite easily when I realised I wanted to play Rxf6 and open up the long diagonal for my bishop (<johnlspouge>'s explanation about deciding which pieces we want to leave on the board after exchanges was an excellently eloquent way of describing what I was thinking intuitively but didn't consciously put words to). I saw initially 21. Rxf6 was inferior due to 21. ... Qxf6 22. Ne6 Qg6 and the queen defends the attack as in <YouRang>'s line, and I also saw 21. Ne6 was inferior due to 21. ... fxe6 and the f8-rook now covers the bishop as well.

I wasn't quite sure how to continue after 21. Nc6 bxc6 22. Rxf6 followed by some other move that didn't accept the rook, such as Qe7 as pointed by others. But this was still the line I would've played, and worked it out later :) (extra note: in the case of 22. ... gxf6, I was going to play 23. Qg3+ Kh8 24. Qh4 instead of Qg5 as pointed out. Same difference, right?)

Feb-27-09  YouRang: <YouRang><The material is even, but by golly, I've got better pawn structure! 1-0>

Okay, I suppose it's up to me to prove my claim with deep computer analysis...

So I loaded this position into <Little Chess Partner> and played the following game:

YouRang vs. LCP -- blitzish rate -- starting with move 21:

click for larger view

As discussed above, 21.Rxf6 Qxf6 <well, I actually had to force this -- LCP wanted 21...gxf6? which loses fast> 22.Ne6 Qg6 23.Nxf8 Rxf8 24.Qxg6 fxg6 <arriving at the "better pawn structure" position>

click for larger view

And now, 25.Bb4 <attack!> Rf3 26.c4 <defending my vulnerable pawn against LSB> 27.Kg1 <remove back rank weakness and support Rf1> g4 28.Rf1 Rg6 <wisely, LCP refused rook exchange> 29.g3 <remove another LSB target and prevent further advance> h5 30.Kf2! <bring K to center> Rh6 31.Ke3 g5 32.Ke4 <support eventual c5> Kg7 33.Bd2 <pressure Pg5> Rf6 <black doesn't want my rook to penetrate on 8th rank> 34.Rxf6 Kxf6 35.c4! <time to make passed pawn> dxc5

36.Kxc5 Bf5 <LCP employs "defend from rear" tactic> 37.Kb6 Be4 <attacks my pawn, but really defends Pb7> 38.d6! <LCP sweating> Bc6 39.Kc7 Ke6 <forced to leave Pg5 unguarded> 40.Bxg5 <eat-a-pawn and make a bit of a zugzwang> Kf5 41.d7! <sac-a-pawn!> Bxd7 42.Kxd7 Kxg5 (diagram)

click for larger view

43.Kc7 Kf5 44.Kxb7 Kg5 <umm, hoping for draw by repetion?> 45.Kxa6 <and now, even LCP can read the writing on the wall, and resigns> 1-0

I rest my case.

Feb-27-09  morfishine: Quickly guessed Ne6 setting up Rf6, oh well, can't win'em all
Feb-27-09  PositionalTactician: <YouRang><The material is even, but by golly, I've got better pawn structure! 1-0>

<Okay, I suppose it's up to me to prove my claim with deep computer analysis...>

I guess the program you are playing against is too weak...

After 25.Bb4, I play 25...Bf5 (If you attack, I shall attack too) If 26.c3 (26.Bxd6 Rd8) Re8!. If 27.Bxd6 Re2 28.b4 Be4 I think Black is the one who has winning chances. Of course, Black's pawn structure looks compromised, but Black has his own fair share of chances because he is better developed. Also, regarding your point about exchanging rooks, Black is not afraid of that. If fact, Black is even willing to do that, because it results in the notorious bishops of opposite-colour endgames notorious for their drawing tendencies. In these endings, your pawns will also become weak. For example, 28.Rf1 Rxf1 29.Kxf1 Ba4! if 30.c3 Bb3. So you can see, White is not better is these positions.

Feb-27-09  WhiteRook48: I thought white should play 21. Rxf6 right away.
I usually only get Mondays and Tuesdays
Feb-27-09  YouRang: <PositionalTactician><I guess the program you are playing against is too weak... >

Well, yes -- Little Chess Partner is hardly fierce competition. My last post was actually meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. :-)

But if I ever get time to test it out against Rybka -- and I win -- I'll be sure to post the game here. But don't hold your breath.

Feb-27-09  newzild: This is a strange one for me, because I got the main line right up to the resignation - but couldn't see how it was winning!

So I'm giving myself the point even though I was surprised at my opponent's resignation.

Feb-27-09  Lord Osiris: Beautiful finish Dolmatov. Morphy would be proud.
Feb-28-09  TheBish: Dolmatov vs Lautier, 1988

White to play (21.?) "Difficult" (3 stars)

Candidate moves: Rxf6, Nc6

21. Rxf6!? Qxf6 (21...gxf6? 22. Nc6! bxc3 23. Qg3+ Kh8 24. Qg5! and 25. Bxf6+ will win Black's queen for rook and knight) and there doesn't appear to be a good follow-up, i.e. 22. Nc6 Qg5 (but not 22...Qg6?? 23. Ne7+) or 22. Ne6 Qg6! when White will have to settle for equality (23. Qxg6 hxg6 24. Nxf8).

21. Nc6! bxc6 22. Rxf6! (Black defends after 22. Bxf6? gxf6), and the combination of the attack on g7 and d6 wins at least a pawn, i.e. 22...cxd5 23. Rxd6 Qe7 (the threat was 24. Rxd5! and the pin on the bishop wins) 24. Qd4! f6 25. Qxd5+ and the bishop falls next move. If 23...Rc8 24. Qd4! leads to a similar finish. Also, if 22...gxf6? 23. Qg3+ Kh8 24. Qg5! leads to the finish mentioned earlier.

Time to check!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang> Struggled to follow your game. 25..Rf3 - surely this should be 25...Rf6? And presumably we need to add in 26...g5 so that 27...g4 is possible?
Feb-28-09  YouRang: <Once: <YouRang> Struggled to follow your game. >

Sorry, I didn't mean for anyone to take that game seriously. Playing blitz with Little Chess Partner (which is notoriously weak at endgame play) is such a poor excuse for a "proof" that I thought folks would realize it was a joke.

The joke is on me. :-p

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang: The joke is on me. :-p>

Or on me for taking LCP seriously! I can never resist playing through a line of analysis ...

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