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Mikhail Ulybin vs Joel Lautier
Chigorin Memorial-A (1989), Sochi URS, Sep-??
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Saw the first five moves, should prove enough to claim credit for solving a puzzle involving a speculative sacrifice. Dang--if only I had solved Saturday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: this one was pretty easy, once you realize that the R cannot recapture after 17. Bxf7+, and Qb3+ closes off the retreat diagonal. i diverged with Bf5 to connect the R's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why didn't black play 32...Rf5 ?

If 33. Bxc5+, then 33...Kc4 34. Rxf5 (34. Bd6 Rxe5 35. Bxe5 Ne7) gxf5 35. Bxa7. If 33. Rxf5, then gxf5. If 33. Re8, then 33...Rxg5+.

Either way, the trapped ♘ escapes.

Nov-15-20  Walter Glattke: 26.-Bxg5 or 14.-Bg5 no puzzle really visible, no forcing continuations visible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: I agree, this puzzle was not super difficult.
Nov-15-20  mel gibson: I saw the first ply straight away.

Stockfish 12 says:


(14. Bxf7+ (♗c4xf7+ ♔g8-h7 ♕d1xd8 ♖f8xd8 ♔g1-g2 ♘b8-c6 ♗c1-g5 ♖d8-f8 ♗f7-c4 ♖a8-d8 ♖a1-e1 a7-a6 a2-a3 ♗c5-d4 ♖e1-e2 b7-b5 ♗c4-a2 b5-b4 a3xb4 ♘c6xb4 ♗a2-b1 ♘b4-d5 ♖f1-c1 ♖d8-d7 ♖e2-d2 ♗d4-e5 ♘c3xd5 ♖d7xd5 ♖c1-c6 ♖d5xd2 ♗g5xd2 ♗e5xb2 g4-g5 ♗b2-e5 g5xf6 g7xf6 ♖c6-b6 ♖f8-d8 ♖b6-b7+ ♔h7-g8) +3.59/34 67)

score for White +3.59 depth 34

The Black King replying as per the game and taking the Bishop is a bad move.
Stockfish gives that over -6.0 for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

White can expose the black king with 14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 (14... Rxf7 15.Qxd8+ wins; 14... Kh7 drops a pawn) 15.Qb3+ Ke8 (15... Ke7 16.Re1+ and Rd1+ wins decisive material) 16.Re1+ Be7 17.Qxb7 Nbd7 18.Bf4 (threatens 19.Bd6 Ng8 20.Nd5) but although I'm not sure whether this is winning I think I'd try it on the board.

Nov-15-20  Brenin: The first three moves are easy to see, it's the follow-up that needs careful thought. Would 17 Bf4, uniting the Rs and threatening Nb5, followed by Nd6 or Nc7, have been stronger than 17 Qxb7, which allows Black to activate the R on a8 with tempo? Grabbing Ps is irrelevant in this position.
Nov-15-20  Brenin: The liquidation 23 Nc7+ looks premature, leaving White with a tricky endgame to win. He could have kept up the pressure with 23 Qxg6 (threat 24 Nd6+), followed by Rad1, Be5, Nd6 or Nxa7, depending on Black's response.
Nov-15-20  goodevans: Too easy for a Sunday. Maybe if it had been started a move or two earlier?
Nov-15-20  scormus: I don't completely agree with this being so easy (for a Sunday), except for <14 Bxf7+>. Rather that the best moves were more difficult to find than the ones played.

If 14 ... Kh7 then W nets the advantage in prosaic manner and CG would probably not have selected todays position for the Sunday puzzle.

<Brenin ..... 17 Bf4> I agree, <17 Qxb7> simply looked wrong. According to the engine W gave back most of the advantage from <14 ... Kg7?>

<18 g5> is tempting but not the best as it drives the N to a better defensive square, though I'll admit it was my choice. Again, checking with the silicon gave <18 Bf4> as correct.

At move 23 I was still supposing there should be a direct win for W, but I was unable to find one and "settled" for <23 Nc7+> which the engine agrreed.

<al wazir> I also wondered why not32 ... Rc5. Problem for B is that when the Rs go off the ending is completely lost.

Overall, I am a bit critical of CG for selecting a game for the puzzle which depends for its interest on departures from best play. It's also disappointing for people who "correctly solve" the puzzle by finding the (inaccurate) text moves.

Nov-15-20  goodevans: The trouble with today's problem (in my opinion) is that there are no real alternatives to consider to the first two moves. White's third is pretty obvious too. Setting it at <12.?> white to move...

click for larger view

... would at least have given us some reasonable alternatives to consider.

Okay, black shouldn't have played 13...Bxc5, but (a) you have to see why (which isn't as easy from that position) and (b) retreating the B would have left white with an extra pawn and a comfortable edge. So I think it still works as a puzzle. One that I probably wouldn't have got!

Nov-15-20  kentaurus: Can someone explain why black played 35...a5 instead of going after bishop with the rook 35...Rb7?. It seems to me that if white wants to keep control with the bishop over the e7 square, there is nothing else but repeating the moves. Or I'm I wrong (as usually)?
Nov-15-20  goodevans: <kentaurus> I don't think you're wrong at all. After your <35...Rb7> white can only avoid repetition by at some point either (a) relinquishing control of e7 or (b) stopping the attack on the N or (c) trading minors. One way or another black gets to avoid losing a piece.

35...Rb7 gets my vote, but it's still an uphill struggle to save the game from there.

Nov-15-20  goodevans: <goodevans: [...] or (c) trading minors.>

Come to think of it, trading minors immediately would net black two pawns: <35...Rb7 36.Rxg8 Rxb4 37.Rxg7> forks black's last two pawns. Whichever he loses, "an uphill struggle" seems an understatement for his predicament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Umm, are we supposed to see from 14. Bxf7+ right the way through to 32. Bd6 ?
Nov-15-20  devere: Instead of 17. Qxb7 White should have played 17.Bf4(threatening 18.Nb5) and if 17...a6 18. Rad1 Nbd7 19. g5, and then either 19...Ng8 20.Ne4 Rxf4 21.Qxg8+, or 19...Nh5 20.Bd6 Rf7 21.Nd5, in either case with decisive advantage to White.
Nov-15-20  landshark: Well....
I usually don't have much to report on Sunday puzzles, but this one was different: 14.Bxf7+ is a natural move and the first thing my eyes settled on. So were the next 3 moves after that. Which led to me looking at what would I do at move 18? I chose 18.Bf4 - and when I saw it was not the move played in the game, I figured as usual I'd not found the right continuation - but consulted the engine anyway and it prefers this over the move played by nearly a full point.... A rare Sunday victory today (:
Nov-15-20  TheaN: Have to be honest that the basic idea of this Sunday puzzle is relatively straightforward: play a very promising sac to pin down the opponent completely. Point is, if you play this you need some confidence you can actually finish it.

I saw <14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 15.Qb3+> but somehow pictured the king going back to g8 (oO) so followed with Qxb7 etc, so can't claim credit, but I would say White is always doing fine after <15....Ke8 16.Re1+ Be7>, whether he has an immediate finish or not. Black is completely uncoordinated and White can develop very fast. I leave the 17.Qxb7 (intuitive) vs 17.Bf4 (pressing) debate to those that already analyzed it.

Nov-15-20  Walter Glattke: Correction to my comment above, Bxg5 not possible, stockfish is right so far for Kh7, there is a "gambit tension" (piece gambit tension of 3.0), an instant pressure to the black position, after Kxf7, and at least, a piece must fall. The problem, is not a puzzle, "bad move" is not defined, the puzzles of the past had a view over the match.
Nov-15-20  NBZ: Bxf7+ was impressive, for sure, especially since (as <goodevans> pointed out) White needed to set it up by playing Nxg6 and dxc5, which are not moves you normally want to necessarily play. But I enjoyed even more the pyrotechnics in the endgame, when it was looking like Black might be able to escape with a slightly worse position. Setting up the Rxc5+ and b4 tactic, while foreseeing that the knight would be trapped on g8, that was incredible play from White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Al Wazir, Computer doesn't like 32 Rf5, although it agrees with your line:

1) +3.98 (27 ply) 33.Bxc5+ Kc4 34.Rxf5 gxf5 35.Bxa7 Ne7 36.h4 g6 37.Kg2 Kd5 38.a4 Ke6 39.a5 Nc6 40.Bb6 Nb4 41.Kf3 Na6 42.Ke3 Kd5 43.Kd3 Nb8 44.Kc3 Nd7 45.Be3 Nb8 46.Kb4 Nc6+ 47.Kb5 Nxa5 48.Kxa5 Ke4 49.Kb5

The text move isn't much better but does make it a little less worse:

1) +3.06 (26 ply) 33.Bxc5+ Ka4 34.Re8 Kb5 35.Ba3 Ka4 36.Bd6 Rd7 37.Re6 Rf7 38.Kg2 Kb5 39.f4 Kc4 40.Kf3 Kd5 41.Rxg6 Ne7 42.Bxe7 Rxe7 43.f5 Ke5 44.f6 gxf6 45.Rxf6 Re6 46.Rxe6+ Kxe6 47.Kg4 Kf7 48.h4

As far as black's 35th is, the position looks lost regardless, Best is the proposed Rb7, but it isn't enough to change the outcome, as Goodeveans said:

1) +2.20 (26 ply) 35...Rb7 36.Bd6 Rd7 37.Re6 a5 38.Rxg6 Nf6 39.Be5 Nh5 40.Ra6 Kb3 41.Rxa5 Kb4 42.Ra6 Kc5 43.Kg2 Kd5 44.Bh2 Ke4 45.Ra5 Rd5 46.f3+ Kd4 47.Ra4+ Kd3 48.h4 Rd4 49.Rxd4+ Kxd4 50.Kh3 g6 51.Bg1+ Ke5 52.Kg4 Ng7

But it is much better than a5:

1) +5.99 (27 ply) 36.Bxa5 Ra7 37.Bd8 Kb3 38.Rxg8 Kc4 39.Bb6 Rb7 40.Be3 Kd5 41.Kg2 Ke4 42.Re8+ Kf5 43.Kg3 Re7 44.Rb8 Ke6 45.Kf3 Rc7 46.Bd4 Rd7 47.Rb6+ Kf5 48.Be3 Rc7 49.Rd6 Rb7 50.Rc6 Re7 51.Rc5+ Ke6 52.Bd4 Kf7

Nov-15-20  NBZ: <al wazir>: I think after 32. ... Rf5 33. Bxc5+ Kc4 White plays 34. Rxf5 gxf5 35. Bf8 g6 and then just simply keeps his bishop forever on that diagonal. The knight can never escape: if the knight ever goes to e7 White can chop it off to go into a winning K&P ending. And if Black just waits the White king advances.
Nov-15-20  erichbf: Agree, saw Bf7+, but seemed obv that Kxf7 isnt the best continuation...
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Breunor: Computer doesn't like 32 Rf5>.

<NBZ: I think after 32. ... Rf5 33. Bxc5+ Kc4 White plays 34. Rxf5 gxf5 35. Bf8 g6 and then just simply keeps his bishop forever on that diagonal. The knight can never escape: if the knight ever goes to e7 White can chop it off to go into a winning K&P ending.>

I agree. It's hopeless.

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