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Slim Bouaziz vs Anthony Miles
Riga Interzonal (1979), Riga URS, rd 6, Sep-11
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-30-11  gofer: My only questions is does <45 ... Rxh3!?> work?! It looks nice. It feels nice. But does it work!?!

<45 ... Rxh3!?>

White cannot accept!

46 Kxh3? Qh1+ 47 Qh2 Qxf3+ 48 Kxh4 Be7+ 49 g5 Bxg5+! (Kh5 g6+ 50 Kh3 Qe3+ mating) 50 Kxg5 f6+ 51 Kh4 g5# (Kg6 Qg4#)

White cannot try to deflect black's onslaught!

46 Qxh4?? Qh1+ 47 Kf2 Rxf3+ 48 Ke2 Qf1#

White cannot try to block black's attack with a rook!

46 Rc1/Rd1 just lose a rook and change nothing, so white must play Qf1 and hope to get some breathing space for his king otherwise 46 ... Qh1# is coming...

The queen black cannot be just anywhere on the first rank!

46 Qg1? Rg3+ 47 Kf2 Qxg1+ 48 Ke2 Qg2+ 49 Kd3 Qxf3+ 50 Kc4 Qe4+ (Kd4 Rxg4+ 51 Ke5 Qe4#) 51 Rd4 Qxc2+ 52 Kd5 Qc5+ 53 Ke4 Rxg4+ 54 Kf3 Qxd4 55 c8=Q Qe4+ 56 Kf2 Rg2 57 Kf1 Qe2#

But there is a defense!

<46 Qf1 Rg3+>

47 Kh2??? Qxf1 48 Rg2 Rh3+!! mating in exactly the same way as the original acceptance of Rh3 Kxh3 except this time the acceptance is forced!

<47 Kf2 Rxf3+>
<48 Kxf3 Qxf1+>

At this point white is not losing and may even be winning, so I would recon that as long as white plays correctly the pawn will queen and that should be enough for a win, but it will be interesting to see what happened!

Time to check!

Premium Chessgames Member
  rubato: <psmith> Bouaziz missed 46.Qf1 too:) but thx for the advice
Dec-30-11  Marmot PFL: Found 45...Rxh3 and the game finish quickly and stopped there, since black had no realistic alternatives anyway. Not surprised that white could have defended better, nor that he didn't as defending such positions is extremely hard, in fact usually impossible.
Dec-30-11  gofer: It seems Tony had a "lucky" win.

<Phony Benoni: <Alekhine's Popgun?>>


Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: It was the pc7 in over excitement? eek! black it has got brill

rejoinder in really amazing elates it rxh3! Anyone come up

with a solution similar I get profound sense in of deja vue?

Lately ive got bind I spot familiar good in pattern recog.

boff insight or fiction case?

Dec-30-11  arkansaw: 1 star for finding Rxh3. 2 star for predicting opponent will play Kxh3. I pride myself on my excellent intuition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <<scormus: <FSR> Thanks! A great wiki article. The games must have been very bitter for the .... swindlee. I guess I experienced enough it from both sides to appreciate how the players must have felt.>

Nemesistic: Il never resign again after seeing this and the games on FSR's wiki page!>

Thanks! One of the games is my own outrageous swindle in Rhine-Nagle.

Dec-30-11  MiCrooks: No one ever won by resigning...Miles is crushed here but Slim makes a series of odd moves allowing Miles chances, though as pointed out it still was no more than a draw.

Sad thing for Slim is that the same idea worked a few moves back. At move 42, simply c7 instead of the inexplicable Rcd2??! (why are you moving your Rook out from behind your passed pawn again?!) won immediately.

Miles would have been forced into the same try (Rxh3) but this time White is correct to take it. The big difference here being the Rook sitting on the 5th rank shutting down Black's attack. So after the same set of moves (ie Qh1+ Qh2 Qxf3+ Kxh4 Black now has nothing. Be7+ is met by simply g5.

And I know you are supposed to push your pawn, and it in fact is a good move, but the simple Rxh5 instead of c6 would have put Slim up a pawn and the exchange and rid Black of his counterplay. After Qd1 Re5 Black has nothing and White will be safely pushing his pawn up Miles nose momentarily.

Dec-30-11  tacticalmonster: I disagree with the " what is the best move " heading. In some puzzles, there are more than one line to force the victory and it is hard to decide which line is the better option. Especially in strategic puzzle, there are couple ways to play the same position. Looking for the 'best' solution in these types of position is asking for trouble.
Dec-30-11  scormus: <tacticalmonster: I disagree with the " what is the best move " heading>

I think it's a one-off, put up today for reasons best known to <CG>. Well, I hope a one-off anyway.

<ajile> Yes, I couldnt resist playing through the 46 Qf1 line, and seeing what I cold come up with for B, even though I was assured it was drawn. Certainly wouldnt be difficult for W to go wrong from your first diagram position. If W lets B get the c pawn without losing the B ....

Dec-30-11  BOSTER: <FSR> <A brilliant swindle by Miles>.

I call such game a <Perfect Fake>.

I don't think that you can prove, that IM can't see the forced mate in couple moves after ...Rxh3 Kxh3 (after time control).

Dec-30-11  King Death: < BOSTER: I call such game a <Perfect Fake>.

I don't think that you can prove, that IM can't see the forced mate in couple moves after ...Rxh3 Kxh3 (after time control).>

Can you prove that it didn't happen in this world championship qualifying tournament? Until you can, I'm a whole lot more likely to accept that this was what went down in Riga than your "explanation."

Dec-30-11  morfishine: <ajile> Very nice post. Its always good to see you jump in over here
Dec-30-11  TheBish: S Bouaziz vs Miles, 1979

Black to play (45...?) "Difficult"

Interesting that CG changed the title ("What is Black's best move?") Black is down an exchange, with White threatening to queen. That actually makes this easier, since everything has to be forcing.


Threatening 46...Qh1#. Now if 46. Qg1 Rg3+, or 46. Qf1 Rg3+ 37. Kf2 Rxf3+.

46. Kxh3 Qh1+ 47. Qh2 Qxf3+ 48. Kxh4 Be7+ 49. g5

Or 49. Kh5 g6+ 50. Kh6 Qe3+ 51. g5 Qxg5#. Now Black has no time for waiting moves, as c8=Q+ looms.

49...Bxg5+! 50. Kxg5 f6+ 51. Kg6

Or 51. Kh4 g5#.


Beautiful mating attack. Black had to see the bishop sacrifice before executing the rook sac. Unusual in the fact that Black mates on g4 (in my main line), a square that is guarded by two pawns and occupied by a third at the starting position!

Dec-30-11  BOSTER: This is the position after 39...Re1

click for larger view

After 40.Re2 black can resign.

Dec-30-11  hedgeh0g: I discarded 46.Qf1 after quickly recognising it lost the queen - forgetting, of course, that White still has two rooks and a strong passed pawn. Faced with imminent queening, Black probably needs to go for a perpetual, which looks quite likely with such an exposed white king.

My guess is that White was so shellshocked by Black's 45th move in what had seemed such a crushing position that he quickly collapsed without even considering a bailout.

Dec-30-11  ajile: <morfishine:> Thanks. :o)

<<hedgeh0g: I discarded 46.Qf1 after quickly recognising it lost the queen - forgetting, of course, that White still has two rooks and a strong passed pawn. Faced with imminent queening, Black probably needs to go for a perpetual, which looks quite likely with such an exposed white king. My guess is that White was so shellshocked by Black's 45th move in what had seemed such a crushing position that he quickly collapsed without even considering a bailout.>>

Seems like this is the second puzzle this week that had a "computer" type in-between move. Wasn't the last one an innocuous ..c5 by Black?

Thing is humans seem to have a hard time looking for optional moves after a big capture/sacrifice. While computers are totally impartial and look at everything.

Dec-31-11  chessaddict25: easy for a friday.Pretty forced variation
Dec-31-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has an exchange for a pawn and a c-pawn that is about to promote. There is no prospect of stalemate, and with the black bishop far from the action, black's only hope seems to be an attack with Q+R. This looks like a long shot with white's majors so close to the scene, but the three officers are redundantly performing the same defensive function.

45... Rxh3!!

Creating a mate threat is really the only way to go, but the two exclamations are for beauty. Accepting the rook results in a neat little king hunt.

A) 46.Kxh3?? Qh1+ 47.Qh2 Qxf3+ 48.Kxh4 Be7+ (Of course the B does have a critical role. The Boden's mate pattern is key.) 49.Kh5 g6+ 50.Kh6 Qe3+ 51.Qf4 Qxf4+ 52.g5 Qxg5#

A.1) 49.g5 Bxg5+! 50.Kxg5 f6+ 51.Kh4 (Kg6 Qg4#) g5# and gold pieces shower onto the board.

B) 46.Qg1?? Rg3+ 47.Kf2 Qxg1+ 48.Ke2 Rg2+ 49.Kd3 Qf1+ 50.Ke3 Qe1+ 51.Kf4 (Kd3 Rxd2+ 52.Rxd2 Qe8 53.Rc2 Qc8 wins) Rxd2 52.c8=Q Rxc2 52.Qxc2 Bd6+ and mate next.

B.1) 50.Re2 Rxe2 51.Rxe2 (c8=Q Re1+ wins) Qxf3+ 52.Kd4 (or e2) Qc6(+) wins.

B.2) 50.Ke4 Rxd2 51.c8=Q Qe2+ wins.

C) 46.Qf1 (the only real defense and a tough nut to crack) Rg3+ 47.Kf2 (Kh2?? Qxf1 and mate next) Rxf3+ 48.Kxf3 Qxf1+ and now:

C.1) 49.Ke3? Qxh3+ 50.Ke4 (Ke2 Qg2+ is an obvious perp; 50.Kf4 Qg3+ 51.Ke4 transposes to same) Qxg4+ 51.Kd5 Qe6+ 52.Kd4 Qd6+ 53.Ke4 (Kc4?? Qxc7+) Qe6+ 54.Kf3 Qh3+ =

C.2) 49.Rf2? Qxh3+ 50.Ke2 (Kf4? Bd6+ wins c-pawn) Qxg4+ 51.Ke1 (Kf1 Qd1+ 52.Kg2 Qg4 ) Qg1+ 52.Ke2 (Rf1? Qe3+ 53.Kd1 (Rd2 Qc3+ followed by Qxc7) Qd3+ 54.Kc1 Qxf1+ 55.Kb2 Qf6+ 56.Kb1 Qe6 57.c8=Q Qxc8 58.Rxc8 h3 looks winning by tying down the rook) Qg4+ 53.Kd2 Qd4+ 54.Kc1 Qa1+ 55.Kd2 Qd4 .

C.3) 49.Kd4! g5! 50.c8=Q Qf4+ 51.Kd3/d5 Qf3+ 52.Kc4 Qe4+ 53.Kb3 (Rd4?? Qxc2+) Qd3+ 54.Kb2 (Ka4?? Qa3#) Qe5+ 55.Kb1 (Kc1?? Qa1#) Qe1+ 56.Rc1 (Kb2 Qe5 ) Qe3 and black, with two pawns for the exchange, should not lose.

Sunday-level complexity in C-lines, but answering the question at the top of the diagram is easy. Let's see how Tony made out - I'm predicting a win, although I think it should probably be a draw with best play

Dec-31-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In my solution post (above), I used the symbol = to mean "equality," as in a repetition of position where no meaningful alternative could be found. In some cases, this was rendered as (meaning "white is slightly better") by kibitzing symbol conventions. I intended "equal", not "white is slightly better."
Jan-06-12  Eduardo Bermudez: Miles superb on tactics !!
Aug-05-15  Superjombonbo: 45. g5 wins easily (45...Rxh3 46. Kxh3 Qh1+ 47. Kg4 ).
Apr-03-16  john barleycorn: <chrisowen: It was the pc7 in over excitement? ...>

Instead of 45.c7 the move 45.Rd8 wins.

For example:

45.Rd8 Rxh3+ 46.Rxf8+ Kxf8 47.Qc5+ Kg8
48.Kxh3 Qh1+ 49.Rh2 Qxf3+ 50.Kxh4

Oct-10-17  clement41: Gorgeous black 45th and follow-up. I managed to calculate till mate, but when you look at it you realize it's easy because the moves are the only decent tries. (Except for 48...g5+ which is a natural candidate). However, finding this OTB is another story!
Oct-10-17  clement41: After 48...g5+??, 49 Kh5 Qf6 50 Rd6 Bxd6 51 c8Q +-, however after 49 Kxg5?? Be7+ 50 Kh5 Qf6 51 c8Q and here we have an extremely sharp position: The best move 51...Kh7 is -#2 (52 Qf5+ Qg6+!! 53 Qg6+ fg#) (the engine finds stupid delays like 52 Qh8+ etc.); while the 2nd best leads to white being crushing.
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