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Grigory Levenfish vs Georgy Lisitsin
20th Ch Leningrad (1946), Leningrad (URS)
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-20-05  dac1990: The only move I saw was 32.Ra8!!; I didn't bother to look at all the defenses.
Premium Chessgames Member Today's is a real brainbuster; it would have been suitable for a Sunday problem as well. We were a little concerned that there might be a way for Black to wriggle out, but a few minutes checking with the computer and we became fairly sure that it was indefensible.
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: 32.♖a8 was the move I would have played in a real game because it gives Black plenty to think about, increases the pressure and cannot be a bad move. I can't say that I saw any of the follow up however.
Aug-20-05  black knight c6: after 32. ... Qe7 33. Nxe5
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: <black knight c6> 32.♖a8 ♕e7 33.♘xe5?? ♖xa8
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: 32...♕c6 is a serious mistake, 32...♕e7 or ♕d6 or ♕d7 all give White far, far less (computer analysis). I think the reasoning in my earlier post was correct.
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: <al-wazir> Remember it's now 'white to play' not 'white to play and win'.
Aug-20-05  patzer2: Today's solution 32. Ra8!! infiltrates the back rank to decisively weaken the kingside castled position. The combination uses the deflection and pinning tactics, along with a potential knight fork, to win decisive material or mate.

Here's a bit of a breakdown with Fritz 8:

<32. Ra8!! Qc6?> This makes it too easy for White. Even though it still loses, Black should've put up more resistance with 32... Qe7 33. Ra6 Nxg4 34. Nxe6+ Kg8 35. hxg4 Bd6 36. Qd1 Qxe6 37. Rxd6 Qf7 38. g5 Re7 39. Qd5 . If 32... Re7, then White wins after 33. Qf3! Ne8 (33... Nxg4 34. Qf8#) 34. Rxe8 Rxe8 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Nh6#. <33. Qf3! Be7> If 33... Rxa8, then White wins with 34. Qxf6+ Kg8 35. Nh6#. <34. Ra7 Nxg4> No help for Black is 34...Qc5 35. Qxf6+ Kg8 36. Nh6#. <35. Qf7+ 1-0> Black resigned in lieu of facing 35...Kh6 36. Qxh7+ Kxg5 37. Qh4#.

Black's last best chance to equalize appears to be with 20... Bf8! 21. Bxc4 (21. Bxf8 Rd2 22. Qf3 Rxf8 23. Re2 Qd6 24. Bxc4 bxc4 25. Nhg4 Rd3 26. Ree1 Rd8 =) 21... Bxc4 22. Nxc4 Bxh6 23. Ng4 Bf8 =.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <jahaj: Remember it's now 'white to play' not 'white to play and win'.> I'm still confused about that. If white wins a piece and black has no compensation, it's a win.

I rejected 32. Ra8 because of 32...Qe7 and chose 32. Ra6. Then if black plays 32...Qd7 or Qf7, 33. Nxe5; if 32..Qe7 then 33. Rxe6. White wins both e pawns and has a strong bind. That's a win too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <ThePurplePimpernel: 35...Kh6 36.Qxh6+> [I think you meant 36. Qxh7+.] <Kxg5 37.Qh4#, yes?> Yes, you're right.
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: <al wazir> Agreed, but I didn't see the win of a piece. My point was that now you just have to look for good moves, not necessarily winning moves.
Aug-20-05  jahhaj: <al wazir> 32.♖h6 is a bit less forcing than 32.♖h8 so you've got to consider replies like 32...h5 or 32...♘xg4. But it does look very strong too.
Aug-20-05  awfulhangover: 32.I saw Ra8, but couldn't see what comes after 32.-Re7 that was winning, but it's white to play, not white to play and win, so it's ok for me.
Aug-20-05  kevin86: I really thing that the puzzles are not to solve as much as they are to promote thinking and better chess. I,too got the first move-but nothing after.
Aug-20-05  Montreal1666: <> <Today's is a real brainbuster> A puzzle is supposed to be a brainbuster!!. Up untill this week either the first move of the puzzle was very obvious or it wouldn't take long to find it.

This week has been a major improvment , thanks. You really needed to make it harder than before.

Aug-20-05  percyblakeney: Even after looking at the position for some minutes Shredder prefers 32. Ra6, but agrees that Ra8 is better after a thorough analysis.
Aug-20-05  Koster: Interesting because I couldn't decide between Ra8 and Ra6 either. In problem context Ra8 seems more the solution but in an actual game I might well play Ra6 targeting the fixed weakness on e6. e5 is also weak and I can't see a defense for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: After 21 Bxe6 the game pretty much plays itself for white, with an attack on the weak e6 pawn (although it looks like the e5 pawn is the one in danger, e6 was the weak point). However, 26....Bc5 was a good attempt at indirect defence since the roof falls in on white if he grabs the e5 pawn on move 27. (27....Nxg3+) When you play over the game, I think it's clear that from move 21 on, white saw the attack pretty clearly. It's much harder when you jump into the middle and look at everything fresh.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I also think that defenses that involve conceding the e5 pawn eg, 32...Qe7, are tantamount to resignation and that black would have as soon turned over his king as make a move like that. Unless he thought white might forget to exchange rooks before grabbing the e5 pawn. But that's a bit like hoping white might fall asleep and lose on time!
Aug-20-05  aragorn69: Great puzzle! A problem-like combination. The first move isn't that hard to find out (once you know there is something to find out), but the rest - based on Black's inability to defend simultaneously the group of 4 squares e6-f6-f7-f8 - is worthy of a Sam Loyd composition! Thx <chessgames> ;-))
Aug-20-05  Kings Indian: The first move was easy, but the rest was pretty hard
Aug-20-05  Happypuppet: So chessgames said that today was considered to be a sunday puzzle? That probably means that tomorrow's will be very tough.

I can't say I got this one... I played almost the exact same moves as white... but in a different order! After seeing the solution and rechecking my own, I realize that my move order allows black a defense.

Aug-20-05  TheSlid: <I played almost the exact same moves as white... but in a different order> Bud luck <Happypuppet>. Reminds me of a joke of the late Eric Morecambe. Ernie says to Eric that he is playing all the wrong notes (on the piano) and Eric replies "Listen, Sunshine, I'm playing all the right notes, just in all the wrong order".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Isaw Ra8 an caluculated everythign except Qc6 -looks like I'min good comaly -wht? why did I miss that? as soon as I saw it I could see the winnging method for white - this took me a while to see Ra8 although I saw that first 32 Ra8 eg Re7 33. Qf3 N:g4 34 Qf8# !

or 32...Ne8 33 R:e8 R:e8 33 Qf6+ Kg8 34 Nh6#

32..h6 is another move but 33. N:f6 hg5 34. N;e8+ wining the Q

32...h6 33 N:f6 K:f6 34. R:e8 h:g5 35 Qf3+ Kg7 36 R:e6 Be737 Qd1!

32...R:e8 33. Q:e8 N:e5 winning

or 32...N:e8 33 h4 h6 34 Nf3 Bd6 35 Qd2 with won position

and there re lots of other variatons most of which I saw winning for White Levenfish played brilliantly - I believe he is the oldest living GM.

Sep-01-07  wolfmaster: Quite a beautiful puzzle,no?
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