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Petar Popovic vs Slavoljub Marjanovic
"Pop Goes the Weasel" (game of the day Aug-27-2010)
YUG-chT 31st (1979), Donji Milanovac YUG, rd 7
Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations (B50)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: After facing 14... Rd8 the facial colour of the white player went white as a ghost for minutes...
Oct-07-07  nateinstein: Like dzechiel I was thinking Qe2. Then I finally saw Bxd5. I'm not sure why I did not consider this move for a while. It's really the only move that forces anything in the position.
Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: As I have seen this game before it was not so difficult. I don't think that 14.Bxd5 was a speculative sac as white can calculate lines leading to clear winning edge once the idea crosses his mind. In fact, the gruesome consequences for black of immediate capture on d5 are quite evident at first glance: if 14...exd5, then 15.Qxd5 with double threat Qxa8 and Nd6+ is impossible to meet satisfactorily as the only move covering Ra8 and Pf7 at the same time, i.e. 15...Bc6 leaves black after 16.Re1+ Kf8 (Ne7 would interpose the cover of Pf7 with disaster after 17.Nd6+) 17.Qc5+ Ne7 in numerous pins that will cost him some material. The only other problem to solve for white was whether black cannot win material with advantage due to attacked Bd5 and Nc4 after any other move 14 of which only 14...Rd8 and maybe 14...0-0-0 looked considerable. But then it was necessary to find only 15.Bf4 with following 16.Nd6+ to confirm correctness of 14.Bxd5. After 14...Rd8 15.Bf4 Qc5 16. Nd6+ Ke7 white could simply retreat the Bishop to e4 with threat of fork Nb7 as 17...Bb5 18.c4 Bxc4 19.Qc2 Rxd6 20.Bxd6+ Kxd6 21.Rac1 wins Bc4 and white will be up with material.
Oct-07-07  Libar: 26. R x e7 wins too and is more elegant!
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Honza Cervenka: the gruesome consequences for black of immediate capture on d5 are quite evident at first glance: if 14...exd5, then 15.Qxd5 with double threat Qxa8 and Nd6+ is impossible to meet satisfactorily as the only move covering Ra8 and Pf7 at the same time, i.e. 15...Bc6>

Honza, there is a MUCH better move than 15...Bc6, which is indeed a quick disaster. Black should play 15...Qc6 to give white some trouble. After Qc6, the game is FAR from being over.

Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <whiteshark: 16...Se7 ... Dxf7#> S = skoczek, D = hetman, right ?-)
Oct-07-07  TrueBlue: got Bxd5. Rd8 is just weird
Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <MostlyAverageJoe: <whiteshark: 16...Se7 ... Dxf7#> S = skoczek, D = hetman, right ?-)>

You've got me there.
Yes, S=Springer=knight♘ D=Dronning=queen♕ :D

In your <15...Qc6> line the following might occur: <16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Qxf7 Bh3 18.Bg5+ Bf6 19.Bxf6+ Nxf6 20.Qxf6+ Kc7 21.Qe7+ Kb8 22.f3 Bxf1 23.Rxf1 Qc7>


click for larger view

and it's indeed a long way for white to win...

Oct-07-07  znprdx: This is a domination theme. 14.b3!? was my initial inspiration:) >if Bxa1[R] 15. Bf4 < More realistically 14.Bxd5 with the point being to prevent the queen from capturing the knight. Presumably after 14.... e6xd5[B] 15.Qxd5 sets up the 5-ply window which after either I]Bc6 or II]Rc8 if there is no other alternative (such as Ra7 or d8) is not obvious, yet is simply a routine grinding onward to victory as Black's king will surely pay the price for being caught in the center aside from his two undeveloped pieces without any real compensation. It remains unclear as to whether or not there is a specific finesse * which would legitimize this being considered as a problem position - I do not see it as such - certainly not of a 'Sunday' puzzle quality - other than to point out that sometimes these opportunities are often missed this early in a game. *yup I was right 18. Nb7 (NOT a check) and perhaps 22.Rxf7 ....I agree (as I often do)with <al wazir: I refuse to believe that white calculated the whole combination in advance > I didn't even bother to set up the pieces for this one - it wasn't really speculative - just about everything wins.
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: < znprdx: It remains unclear as to whether or not there is a specific finesse * which would legitimize this being considered as a problem position - I do not see it as such - certainly not of a 'Sunday' puzzle quality>

I agree 100%, or maybe even 150% :-) and think that the same objection applies to yesterday's puzzle.

In the analysis I did, each time white is to move, there is either:

(1) obvious good choice, e.g., 15.Qxd5 or 16.Nd6+ in the 14. Bxd5 exd5 line, or

(2) several moves of about equal strength, with at least one or two being intuitively obvious, e.g., after 14. Bxd5 exd5 15. Qxd5 Qc6 16. Nd6+ Kd8,


click for larger view

white could play either

17. Nxf7+
17. Qxf7 <see whiteshark's post> 17. Qxc6

an all end up with about the same advantage (within 0.15 pawn's worth, according to Hiarcs).

As I already wrote, the real difficulty of the last two puzzles is for the black to find the best responses, not for the white to win.

Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Demolition of pawn structure combinations, as a rule, usually occur on the second and third or the sixth and seventh ranks. In this case 14. Bxd5!! is one of those rare exceptions, which makes for an insanely difficult solution to today's Sunday puzzle.

See <Honza Cervenka>'s posts at page one and two for an explanation of the ideas behind the initial moves and the follow-up to this difficult combination.

Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: White is having a huge advantage but has to be carefull in selecting the right moves & refrain from playing 14.Bf4, Re1 & Qe2 all such moves will bring only misery to White. Therefore, 14.Bxd5 Rd8 any other R place is worse. 15.Bf4 Qc5 [ not ...e5 then 16.Nxe5 ] 16.c4 Bc6 [ ...exd5 looks risky & allows 17.Nb7 fork ] Now, Black is threatening ...Rxd6 therefore, 17.Ne4 Qb4 but it seems that White will have to sweat little more to cash his advantage.
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <patzer2: See <Honza Cervenka>'s posts at page one and two for an explanation>

Honza's analysis of <14...exd5> is incorrect. See the lines shown by myself (or rather by Hiarcs :-) and by <whiteshark>.

Oct-07-07  xrt999: this game is so complex I wouldnt even consider it a puzzle. Lets call it the "Sunday Complex position with infinite variations". Typical for a Sunday; not much of the play is forced. For fun I plugged the position into CM and let it rip.

I played Bxd5, so I guess I got the puzzle according to the rules here, (Lets just forget about the next 10 moves, I got Bxd5!!!). Sacrificing a bishop to open up central play. Blacks king is going to be stuck in the center and come under attack, black may try to block the check with a minor piece, which will then itself be attacked. After Bxd5, CM played exd5 though, the correct move. In the actual game black just sits there and gives the pawn away and shows nothing in return, horrible play by black. 12...d5? is the nail in blacks coffin.

Here is the line if anyone cares:

14.Bxd5 exd5
15.Qxd5 Bc6
16.re1+ Kf8
17.Qc5+ Ne7
18.Bg5 f6
19.Rxe7 Qxe7
20.Qxc6 Qe8
21.Qd6+ Qe7
22.Qxe7+ Kxe7
23.Re1+

< fm avari viraf: White is having a huge advantage but has to be carefull in selecting the right moves >

white does not have a huge advantage here. According to CM chess engine the game is actually a draw after Bxd5.

What do you base your opinion on?

Oct-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Mostly Average Joe> Thanks for the insight. <Honza Cervenka>'s analysis is good in considering the human response I would expect, but you and <whiteshark> consider and investigate a stronger response (i.e. 14...exd5 15. Qxd5 Qc6!?).

As always <fm avari viraf>'s comment is interesting and enlightening.

Oct-07-07  acirce: I don't see anything wrong with <Honza>'s posts. Just like he says, Black has no satisfactory way of meeting the double threat after 14..exd5 15.Qxd5. 15..Qc6 only deals with one of them and White is totally winning after 16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Qxf7.
Oct-07-07  GoldenKnight: Got the first three moves quickly. After that it required a little thought. Easy for a Sunday, I think. If you have to view puzzles as thought out all the way before you make the first move, then this is insane. I suspect that White saw no further than the first four moves. After that it was speculation based on what he thought was at least a strong attack that could at least draw.
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <acirce: I don't see anything wrong with <Honza>'s posts. Just like he says, Black has no satisfactory way of meeting the double threat after 14..exd5 15.Qxd5. 15..Qc6 only deals with one of them and White is totally winning after 16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Qxf7.>

Please take a look at <whiteshark>'s continuation after 17.Qxf7 and the resulting position.

Yes, white might win thanks to 3 extra pawns and black having no place to hide - this offsets the black's pair of rooks versus white's R+N, but is this a total win? Defintely not, if you compare it to what happened in the game.

Oct-07-07  Rodrigo Gutierrez: Didn't quite get it, but I enjoyed the fireworks! Specially the end, where black resigns on account of 26... ♔xd8 27. ♖xe7 and mate follows.
Oct-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Didn't get it,but enjoyed it-the usual Sunday puzzle 4 me.
Oct-09-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I have a question. Would studying the detailed analysis of this game make me a better player? I appreciate that <MAJ>, <whiteshark>, <dzechiel>, and others have put a lot of careful thought into it, and I acknowledge that there's lots of room for improvement in my play, but face it -- this position will never occur again. What can I take away from this puzzle?

I want to learn to play like a GM, not find out what the GM should have played. The crucial question in my mind is, did white (Popovic) analyze this combination thoroughly in advance, or did he play 14. Bxd5 speculatively, based on his positional intuition. If the former, I'll never be able to do it. If the latter, then there's hope.

Oct-09-07  acirce: <Yes, white might win thanks to 3 extra pawns and black having no place to hide - this offsets the black's pair of rooks versus white's R+N, but is this a total win?> Yes.

<Defintely not, if you compare it to what happened in the game.> What's the need to compare with anything?

May-07-08  laboratory62: Simply brilliant!
Aug-27-10  bubuli55: it seems to me like everybody is looking at Bxd5 as a start of a 10 or 20 move mate. or the move that wins the game. let me roll my eyes!

that d5 pon (hihihi) is free. a recapture leads to positional disadvantage for Black. simply that :)

Aug-27-10  CapablancaFan122: In retrospect, 14. exd5 might have been better for black. Refuting the sacrifice seems to bring all sorts of trouble to Marjanovic.
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