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Dusan Rajkovic vs John Nunn
Bundesliga (1990/91), GER
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Aronin-Taimanov Defense (E97)  ·  1-0



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Aug-29-09  TheBish: D Rajkovic vs Nunn, 1990

White to play (28.?) "Very Difficult"

The first move is easy to find (no satisfactory queen moves), which leads you to find the follow-up. If this weren't a puzzle... that would make it really hard to find the solution! (Knowing there is a win would be the hard part in a game.)

28. Rxf5! solves the problem of the attack on White's queen, but it also leads to the breakdown in Black's defenses. Now:

A) 28...Rxf5 29. Ne6 g5 (forced) 30. Qg4 Qa5 (again forced, as the queen can't defend both rooks, so she counter-attacks) 31. b4 Nxb4 32. Nxd8 Nd3 33. Re8+ Kg7 34. Qd4 Ne5 35. Nxc6 Qe1+ 36. Kh2 Kf6 37. Qd6+ wins easily.

B) 28...gxf5 29. Ne6 Qd7 (or 29...Qe7 30. Qxe7 Nxe7 31. Nxd8 Rxd8 32. Rxe7 wins a piece, or 29...Qc8 30. Qg5+ Kf7 31. Qg7+ Ke8 32. Nc7#) 30. Nac5! (the other knight gets back to work!) Qe8 (after 30...Qd6 31. Qg5+ and Black gets mated as shown above after 29...Qc8) 31. Nxf8! (much better than 31. Qg5+ Qg6) Qxf8 32. Ne6 and White wins a rook or the queen.

Aug-29-09  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: To me, after 28 Rxf5, the position does not look good for black but it is not easy to decipher.

For example, after 28 Rxf5 gxf5 (instead of the text Rxf5) 29 Ne6 Qd7 30 Qg5+ Kh8, black kind of looks ok. (He is fine with the exchange of either rook for the knight).

click for larger view

But white has an ace-in–the-hole, 31 Nc5.

click for larger view

Now what? I tried some line that would exchange material like 31…Rg8, seeing 32 Nxd7 Rxg5 33 Nxd8 Rg8 34 Ne5 Rxd8, but that loses to the knight fork, 35 Bf7+.

click for larger view

Aug-29-09  DarthStapler: You mean Nf7+
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Additional game related information

[Event "BL 9091 Sindelfingen-Solingen"]
[Round "?.2"]
[White "Rajkovic, D."]
[Black "Nunn, J."]
[WhiteElo "2485"]
[BlackElo "2610"]

Aug-29-09  remolino: The first move is obviously 28.Rxf5. White will at least recover the material and expose the Black king, but on a beautiful Saturday morning, I refuse to spend an hour working out the complications, which are too many and require too much time for woodpusher like me. I have not even had a cup of coffee and will rather go for a walk. OTB I would also consider 28.Qc4 given that before starting concluding actions, I may want to bring my a4 knight closer to the center of the board, so as not to compete with a piece less.

Time to check.


Glad I did not work out the complications. I will go get coffee now.

Aug-29-09  Athamas: Even material. Black's pieces are very visually appealing but fairly defensive other than the knight attacking white's queen. White's pieces are nicely set up for an attack other than a knight on the a file that seems to just be stopping black from calling check and eyeing the e6 square eventually.

The initial move is pretty obvious. If you want to keep an initiative, the move is

28. Rxf5

Leaves black with 2 main options on recapture. Rxf5 and gxf5. I tend to think gxf5 is the correct response but it's very tempting to play Rxf5 to keep your pawns in front of the king and connected. After gxf5 I don't see a whole lot for white other than to bring the knight from a4 to e6 so I'm guessing Rxf5 was played since that ends the game much more neatly.

28...Rxf5 29. Ne6

It looks like the point of the move is to recapture the lost material, but it's more to attack the queen and possibly open up the 7th rank for the rook if something like ...Rf4? Nxf4 Nxf4 Re7 and white wins... cannot recapture with the queen because it leaves the other rook hanging. Black cannot afford to move the queen and cannot attack the queen with the rook, so maybe

29...g5 30. Qg4

I am not entirely sure what to do from here with black. He has a lot of options and almost all look bad or losing. I am almost entirely sure the correct recapture was gxf5 because g5 is almost forced without the other rook on the back rank. I suppose the only real lash in this sequence is Qa5 since black cannot defend all his hanging pieces now, but moving the b pawn ends it


There doesn't seem to be anything immediately winning after this. The best I see is Nc5 then Nce6. I am sure this is probably not the best continuation for this line but lets see what the other kibitzers came up with

Aug-29-09  Athamas: Ah, seems I had the right idea with the knight to c5 but Ne6 should have been played immediately after gxf5
Aug-29-09  David2009: Saturday puzzle D Rajkovic vs Nunn, 1990 White to play 28? Very difficult

28 Rxf5 hoping for Rxf5? 29 Ne6 Re8 (else the Rd8 goes) 30 Nxc7 Rxe1+ 31 Qxe1 Nxc7. White has Q for R. Better for Black is 28...gxf5 29 Ne6 Qa5 30 Nxd8 Rxd8. There may be better follow-ups for White, but meanwhile this 'petite combinaison' gives a favourable ending (Black has four isolated Pawns).

I can see no sound forcing moves other than 28 Rxf5. Time to check
Well, I am very lucky. 28...Rxf5 was played followed by 29...g5! which I had missed completely, but which can be refuted over the board. Who said that there is no luck in chess?

Checking the position and moving the pieces, I see that I am doubly fortunate: after 28...gxf5 29 Ne6 Qa5 White mates. Indeed this threatened mating attack is the principal drawback to gxf5.

Time to digest comments from more skilful solvers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

D Rajkovic vs Nunn, 1990 (22.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kg8 has 2 legal moves, g7 and h8, both dark squares on the a1-h8 diagonal, which beckons to Qh5. The White Ng5 and Qh4 both attack Ph7, guarded by Qc7 and Kg8, suggesting deflection or decoy possibilities. Moreover, Qc7 also guards Rd8, x-rayed by Qh4 through Ng5, suggesting Qc7 is overburdened. The White Ng5 also can fork Qc7, Rd8, and Rf8 at e6. The White Re1 has an open file, but the invasion points e7 and e8 are presently well guarded. The White Rf1 x-rays Rf8 through the Black Nf5. The White Na4 requires activation. The Black Nf5 threatens Qh4, so the candidate must deal with a threat on the Q. The White Kg1 is secured from feasible checks (Qc7-h2+ drops the Q, and Qc7-b6+ is guarded by Na4).

Candidates (28.): Rxf5

Black has 2 possible recaptures, the 1-st loosening protection of Rd8, the 2-nd permanently disorganizing the Ps protecting his Kg8.

(1) 28…Rxf5 29.Ne6

White threatens 30.Nxc7 winning Q+N for R, or 30.Nxd8 or 30.Qxd8+ winning a N.

Black has no feasible checks, and the White Qh4 can capture 30.Qxd8+ to escape any threat, so Black has no counter-attack to defend 30.Nxc7. <[Here, I missed the game defense 29…g5, which counter-attacks Qh4.]> Double defense (flight and reinforcement) 29…Rc8 30.Nxc7 Rxc7 leaves White with Q for R. After Black defends by moving Qc7, White wins Rd8 with at least a N up.

(1) 28…gxf5 29.Ne6 (threatening 30.Nxc7or 30.Nxd8)

If Qc7 moves off the 7-th rank, White also threatens

(A) 30.Qg5+ Kf7 [Kh8 31.Qg7#] 31.Qg7+ Ke8 32.Nxf8+ [or worse]

Without feasible checks, Black has no counter-attack to defend Qc7. He can neither capture nor pin Ne6, so flight of Qc7 is the only option. The Qc7 must remain on the 7-th rank to prevent Threat (A), and it must provide a 2-nd guard for Rd7 to avoid being down a N.

29…Qe7 [Qd7 30.Nc5 Qe7 is similar]

Avoidance of capture in the following sequence leaves Black down at least a N:

30.Qxe7 Nxe7 31.Nxd8 Rxd8 32.Rxe7

Black is down a N.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Material is even. Black threatens 28... Nxh4, which suggests 28.Rxf5:

A) 28... Rxf5 29.Ne6

A.1) 29... Rf4 (or 29... Qd7) 30.Qxd8+ + - [N ahead].

A.2) 29... g5 30.Qg4 Qa5 (30... Qf7 31.Nxd8 + - [N up]) 31.b4 Nxb4 (31... Qxb4 32.Qxb4 Nxb4 33.Nxd8 + - [N up]) 32.Nxd8 Rf4 (32... Qxa4 33.Qxf5 + - [R up]) 33.Qe6+ with a N ahead and a winning attack.

B) 28... gxf5 29.Ne6

B.1) 29... Qa5(b8,c8,d6) 30.Qg5+ Kf7 (30... Kh8 31.Qg7#) 31.Qg7+ Ke8 32.Nc7#.

B.2) 29... Qe7 30.Qxe7 Nxe7 31.Nxd8 Rxd8 32.Rxe7 + - [N ahead].

B.3) 29... Qb7 30.Nxd8 Qb5 (30... Qb4 31.Qxb4 Nxb4 32.Ne6 + - [N up]) 31.Qg5+ Kh8 32.Nf7+ Rxf7 33.Re8+ Rf8 34.Rxf8#.

B.4) 29... Qf7 30.Nxd8 + - [N up].

B.5) 29... Qd7 30.Nac5 'transposes' to previous lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A guess the fork wasn't the whole ball of wax-I did get that part.
Aug-29-09  bengalcat47: As far as I can tell there are no "bad calls" in chess -- unlike major-league baseball or more notably, NFL football!
Aug-29-09  lost in space: Hmmm, I saw

28. Rxf5 Rxf5 29. Ne6 Rc8 30. Nxc7 Rxc7


28. Rxf5 gxf5 29. Ne6 Qd7 30. Nc5 31. Qe7 Nxe7 32. Nxd8 (black Ne7 hangs)

both with a won positon for white.

I missed completely 29...g5


Aug-29-09  eric the Baptist: TOTALLY over my head.
Aug-29-09  wals: [Event "BRD 50/657"]
[Site "BRD 50/657"]
[Date "1990.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Dusan Rajkovic"]
[Black "John Nunn"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E97"]
[Annotator "Rybka 3 1-cpu (30m)"]
[PlyCount "65"]

E97: ♔ing's Indian: Classical Main Line (6...e5 7 0-0 ♘c6): 8 ♗e3 and 8 d5 ♘e7, not 9 ♘e1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 f6 10. Bc1 f5 11. Bg5 Bf6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. d5 Ne7 15. Ng5 c6 16. Bd3 Bg4 17. Qd2 Qb6 18. h3 Bd7 19. dxc6 bxc6 20. Rae1 Rad8 21. Na4 White threatens to win material: ♘a4xb6 Qc7 (21... Qa6 22. Qd1 c5 ) 22. f4 Nf5 (22... Rde8 23. g4 ) 23. c5 exf4 (23... e4 24. Nxe4 d5 25. Nxf6+ Rxf6 26. Nc3 ) 24. Qxf4 Nd5 (24... Bc8 ) 25. cxd6 (25. Qd2 dxc5 26. Bc4 Bc8 27. Nxc5 h6 ) 25... Nxd6 26. Qh4 (26. Qg3 Rxf1+ 27. Rxf1 ) 26... Bf5 ?? ♗LU♘DE♖ (26... Bc8 would save the game) 27. Bxf5 Nxf5 28. Rxf5 the logical end Rxf5 (28... Rxf5 29. Ne6 Combination) (28... gxf5 29. Ne6 Combination) 29. Ne6 g5 30. Qg4 Qa5 31. b4 (31. Qxf5 is the weaker alternative Qxe1+ 32. Kh2 Re8 33. Qxg5+ Kf7 34. Nd8+ Rxd8 35. Qxd8 Qe5+ 36. Kh1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qe5+ 38. Kh1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 ) 31... Nxb4 (31... Qxb4 32. Qxb4 Nxb4 33. Nxd8 Nxa2 34. Nxc6 ) 32. Nxd8 h5 ( 32... Re5 desperation 33. Rxe5 Qxe5 34. Qxb4 Qa1+ 35. Kf2 Qf6+ 36. Ke3 Qxd8 37. Qc4+ Kg7 38. Qd4+ Qxd4+ 39. Kxd4 g4 40. hxg4 Kg6 ) 33. Re8+ (33. Re8+ Kg7 34. Qd4+ Qe5 35. Rxe5 Rxe5 36. Qxe5+ Kf8 37. Nc5 Kg8 38. Qxg5+ Kh7 39. Qxh5+ Kg7 40. Nce6+ Kg8 41. Qg4+ Kh7 42. Qg7#) 1-0

The above may be of interest to those seeking help.

Aug-29-09  LIFE Master AJ: D Rajkovic vs Nunn, 1990

The daily puzzle for Saturday; August 29th, 2009.
White to play on move twenty-eight. (28. '?')

click for larger view

White: Kg1, Qh4, Na4, Ng5, Re1, Rf1; White pawns - a2, b2, g2, & h3. Black: Kg8, Qc7, Nd5, Nf5, Rd8, Rf8; Black pawns - a7, c6, g6, h7.

I did something a little different today. I blew up the diagram, and then I printed it out. I also typed my whole post first in "notepad" ... ... ...

I looked at the position last night for just a few minutes before I went to bed. I considered White to be better, (safer king & fewer pawn islands); but I did not consider White's position to be immediately decisive.

I noticed right away the possibility of 28.Rxf5! followed by 29.Ne6. At first, I thought this was a fairly easy problem ... until I began working out the tactics. (I also suffered a couple of hallucinations, like thinking the Black Queen could always give a check on b6. However, when I glanced at my print-out of the diagram, it was easy to see that any ...Qb6+??; is easily met by NxQ.)

The first move has to be 28.Rxf5! (Maybe - '!!) The only question is which way should Black capture? At first, I thought that 28...gxf5 was forced, until I began to work through the variations. (I give them in the reverse order that I solved them.)

Variation A.) 28...gxf5?!; 29.Ne6 Qd7; This looks forced. The Black Queen cannot stray too far from d8, otherwise Black drops a whole Rook on d8. (Even worse is: </= 29...Qa5??; 30.Qg5+, and Black is getting mated, this tactic will crop up several more times.) 30.Nac5 Qe7; Again, this is probably forced. Note that the BQ cannot go to d6, because of Qg5+, (again!). 31.Qxe7 Nxe7; 32.Nxd8 Rxd8; 33.Rxe7, " " and White should win.

Variation B.) 28.Rxf5!, RxR/f5; 29.Ne6, g5[]; (This is forced, otherwise White wins a whole Rook on d8. In fact, when I first saw this move, I even panicked for a minute and thought that Black might be winning.) However, everything is fine because White plays 30.Qg4. (Hitting the undefended Black Rook on f5.) At first, I halted my analysis here, and thought that: "White is winning easily, if 30...Qf7: then 31.NxR/d8, and it is a relatively simple win for White." However, I took a second look, and ... to my horror ... I discovered the move (after 30.Qg4) of 30...Qa5. (Which hits my White Rook on e1.) At first, I thought that this might be winning for Black. I was just about ready to concede defeat, when I noticed the cool shot of 31.b4! Black is almost forced to capture, otherwise he drops a whole Rook on d8 or his King gets into trouble. Now the remaining moves are pretty much forced. 31...Qxb4; 32.Qxb4, Nxb4; 33.Nxd8, Nxa2; 34.Nxc6, " " and White should win. (Its NOT a simple win, Black could work to exchange pawns, maybe even sacking a Knight for a Pawn. Two possible scenario's remain which are drawn: #1.) White has a K+N vs. Black's King. #2.) Swap the Rooks and leave White win two Knights and King vs. King, which is also drawn.)

I apologize if I have repeated anything. Its now a few minutes after 5 PM here, however, I have not looked at any of the kibitzing yet. (I have been working on this all day, in between a couple of chess lessons on the computer.)

Time to check ...

Aug-29-09  LIFE Master AJ: Nunn did something (a little) different. However, since I got the key move and the first 3 or 4 moves afterward, I would have to say I nailed this one. (It looks like 32...h5?; could be a time-pressure mistake, Black's King appears to be in serious trouble.)
Aug-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even and both sides are developed and castled. White's knights are less centralized than black's knights, but they are better placed. Black's glaring weakness is e6, from where a white knight will fork all of black's major pieces. Another weakness is h7, which the black queen is defending from a mate threat. But white must defend the Q first. This is a no-brainer:


Hardly a sacrifice, because white gets it back quickly with interest. The real key is keeping the WQ at the strong post h4.

A) 28... Rxf5 29.Ne6 Qa5/b7/b8/c8/d6/f7 30.Qxd8+ wins at least a piece

A.1) 29... Qe7 30.Qxe7 Nxe7 31.Nxd8 wins a piece.

A.2) 29... Rf4/h5 30.Qxd8+ wins

A.3) 29... g5 30.Qe4 Re5 31.Qxe5 Qxe5 32.Rxe5 Re8 33.N4c5 and the extra piece is secure

A.3.1) 30... Qa5 31.Qxf5 Qxa4 32.Qxg5+ wins

A.3.2) 30... Qf7 31.Nxd8 wins a piece

A.4) 29... other N,R or pawn move 30.Nxc7 wins

B. 28... gxf5 (exposing the g7 weakness) 29.Ne6 Qa5/b8/c8/e6 30.Qg5+ Kf7 (Kh8 31.Qg7#) 31.Qg7+ Ke8 32.Nc7#

B.1 29... Qb7/f7 30.Nxd8 wins a piece

B.2 29... Qe7 30.Qxe7 Nxe7 31.Nxd8 wins a piece.

B.3 29... Qd7 30.N4c5 and any Q move loses a piece (as in B.1 and B.2), allows mate as in variation B, or gives up the Q.

Looks straightforward - a domination theme - but maybe I'm missing a defense...

Aug-29-09  Artar1: At my level of play, I am still learning to work out the entire sequence before making the first move.

I saw <28.Rxf5! Rxf5 29.Ne6> immediately. Then the issue of how Black would continue the defense eluded me. The best I could see was 29...Qe7, which resulted in Black losing a piece. I tried several other combinations with the same effect.

The difficulty of Saturday and Sunday puzzles is that we are not only asked to find White's winning move but Black's best defense, as it would be in a real game.

I'm now going to run the puzzle through the computer to see what it recommends after about one second of processing.

Aug-29-09  WhiteRook48: rxf5 with the idea of ne6 wins
Aug-29-09  Artar1: The key moves after <28.Rxf5!> are <29...g5 30.Qg4 (Continues the attack.) 30...Qa4 and 31.b4!> From here the combination plays itself until one reaches its aftermath. In the endgame that ensues, and one certainly would in under 2000-elo play, White needs to avoid the exchange of rooks and concentrate effort on the kingside of the board, as follows:

<28. Rxf5 Rxf5 29. Ne6 g5 30. Qg4 Qa5 31. b4 Qxb4 32. Qxb4 Nxb4 33. Nxd8> Nxa2 Now if: 34. Nxc6 Rf6 35. Re8+ Kg7

After more than 8 minutes of processing and a depth of 20-ply,

click for larger view

Fritz continues with: 36. Nd4

<(36. Re7+ Rf7 37. Rxa7 Rxa7 38. Nxa7 Nb4 While a grandmaster may be able to win the game from the White side of the board, it still requires solid endgame skills to do so.)>

click for larger view

36...Rf4 37. Rd8 Kg6 38. g3 Re4 39. Nc5 Re7 40. g4 Nc3 41. Nf5

A far better strategy is for White to avoid an exchange of rooks and to maneuver the knights to the kingside of the board to restrict the movement and participation of the Black king.

41...Re1+ 42. Kg2 Ra1 43. Rf8 Nd5 44.Nd7 Re1 45. Kf2 Re6 46. Rh8 Kf7 47. Rxh7+ Kg8 48. Rg7+ Kh8 49. Nf8 Rf6 50. Ng6+ Rxg6 51. Rxg6 1-0

click for larger view

Aug-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: In the line A.3) 29... g5 30.Qe4 etc of my original post, black has a better continuation with 30... Rf4, leading to the following position:

click for larger view

After 31.Qe5! Qxe5 32.Rxe5, white wins at least a pawn and the exchange back and retains viable winning chances, e.g. 32... Rxa4 33.Nxd8 Rxa2 34.Rxg5+ Kf8 35.Nxc6 Ne7? 36.Nxe7 Kxe7 37.Rg7+ with a theoretical win.

Probably not as sharp as the text 30.Qg4, but interesting.

Aug-29-09  007chess: Hi I am not that good of a chess player, But why dose not 16 Kn to e6 work for white ? How dose Black play from this position for I know they both saw it.
Aug-30-09  LIFE Master AJ: 16.Ne6 is probably premature. Black simply takes it, plays ...Nf5 and ...Qe7; and then simply captures the Pawn in broad daylight.
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