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Aleksandar Matanovic vs Tigran V Petrosian
URS-YUG (1959), Kiev URS, rd 4, Jul-07
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation (B17)  ·  0-1



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Given 31 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-05-08  patzer2: For today's extrmely difficult Saturday puzzle, Black's decoy sacrifice 31...d4! appears to "simplify" to a won Queen and Pawn ending. However, the defensive move 32. Rb3! puts up more resistance and makes the win difficult and problematic. See analysis by <MostlyAverageJoe> and <Terry McCracken> and recommended reading by <Chessmensch> for indepth discussion and analysis.
Jan-05-08  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult) Black to play and win

Material even. White K vulnerable to mate threat with weak 1st rank. The unprotected Qc2 protects Pc3 protects Rb4 protects back rank threats. Black K vulnerable to back rank mate.

Candidate moves: Re2, Re1+, a5, d4, Re4

31...d4 32.Rxd4 [cxd Qxb4] Re1+ 33.Re1 Rxe1+ 34.Qxe1 Qxc3+ 35.Kb1 Qxh3

with the gain of a P, so capture of the Pd4 is infeasible. The Pd4 is now a queening threat and aids the mate threats either with dxc or d3 (new candidates!), so this line is in accord with the demands of the position. The only way to protect the Pc3 without material loss is

32.Rb3 Qc5

[threatening 33...Re1+ 34.Rb1 Rxb1+ 35.Kxb1 dxc and the Q eventually gets to e6 to threaten Qe7, which should be enough to win]

33.c4 Rc1 and the Pc4 falls. Time to peek (and groan at the crushing line I missed, no doubt).

So, my first line was the game line, as far as it went. Time to check the kibitzing.

In <MostlyAverageJoe>'s line, I thought 31...d4 32.Rb3 Re1+ 33.Rb1 Rxb1+ 34.Kxb1 dxc3 led to a draw, because 35.Qb3 and 36.Kc2 captures the Pc3 without dropping a K-side P. The position after ...dxc3 is critical, but I think Black has to do it in such a way that his Q can pick up a K-side P.

Jan-05-08  kevin86: I missed it. I was a little disappointed that the attack led to a win by picking off a pawn. I was looking for a checkmate.
Jan-05-08  LivBlockade: <TrueBlue: funny that white resigns after moving his queen, I would at least wait to be my move before resigning :)> My guess would be that the game was adjourned and that 41. Qd2 was White's sealed move, and his adjournment analysis showed that Black will soon be up two connected passed pawns and should win easily, so White resigned without resuming the adjournment.
Jan-05-08  TrueBlue: <LivBlockade>, o yes, the good old days when games were adjourned ...Bad computers, bad computers!
Jan-05-08  JG27Pyth: I can't believe I got it! First Saturday ever. Yay me! Woo-hoo! What do I win? Where's my prize? The whole variation... see, I'm not just a pawn-grabbing patzer! I'm a Saturday solving pawn-grabbing uber-patzer! w00t!
Jan-05-08  zb2cr: I saw the correct moves 31. ... d4; 32. Rxd4, Re1+; 33. Rd1, Rxd1+; 34. Qxd1, Qxc3+; 35. Kb1, Qxh3.

However, I thought to myself--"That can't be the solution. It only wins a freaking Pawn, for crying out loud! In a Queen and Pawn endgame, no less, which are very hard to win due to the ability of the Queens to give lots of checks and maybe secure a perpetual!"

After 15 fruitless minutes trying to find a better line, I gave up--and found that the game continuation was the one I'd seen. Grrrrr.

In fact, I don't see just what the blazes White was doing playing 41. Qd2. This gives away a second Pawn, which is why White resigned after making the move. Perhaps he meant to play 41. Qe2, which preserves the h-Pawn, and fight on for a few moves.

Jan-05-08  xrt999: wow. Matanovic was +0 -4 =12 games out of 16 against Petrosian.

Instead of immediately taking h3 with 35.Qxh3, I had 35.Qb4+ [35...Ka1 or Qb3] followed by 36.Qxf4, Im not sure why, just instinctual. Seems to be OK.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Maj> <31. ... d4 32. Rb3 Re1+ 33. Rb1 Rxb1+ 34. Kxb1 dxc3>

The above is the consensus best line for white.

Now as <Terry McCracken> stated if 35 Qb3 Qd6 36 Qxc3 Qxf4 then the position is the following:

click for larger view

Is there enough information to say that this is a win for black?

It looks like it will be a long, complex finish with both queens still on the board.

Jan-05-08  sharkw: The line 31...d4 32. Rb3 Re1+ 33. Rb1 Rxb1+ 34. Kxb1 dxc3 is bad for White is that black has a calculable forced win by transitioning into a pawn ending in certain lines. The key is that White's advanced kingside is actually a target in the pawn endgame, for example, after:

35. Qb3 Qxb3 36. axb3 f5!

click for larger view

a) 37. gxf5? Kf7 38. Kc2 Kf6 39. Kxc3 Kxf5 and White is too slow with winning the a-pawn;

b) 37. g5? hxg5 38. fxg5 f4 39. Kc2 f3 and Black queens;

c) 37. Kc2 fxg4 38. hxg4 g6 39. Kxc3 a5 and I believe that Black wins by creating an outside passed pawn. I may have screwed up the best move order a bit but someone might want to confirm that this is a win.

So if 35. Qb3 loses, White has to mark time. Without an exhaustive calculation, a move like 35. Qe2 loses prosaically to 35...Qb4+ with the pawn ending being decisive once again after 36. Kc2 Qb2+ 37. Kd3 Qxe2+ 38. Kxe2 f5. If 35. Ka1 f5 appears to work again, with Black playing ...Qb2+ at an appropriate time.

Any corrections?

Jan-05-08  alphee: 31. ... d4 was not difficult to identify but the following moves were and 32.cxd4 did look more attractive to me than ♖xd4.

31. ... d4 32. cxd4 ♖e1+ 33. ♖b1 ♖xb1+ 34. ♔xb1 ♕b4+ 35. ♔c1 ♕e1+

31. ... d4 32. ♖xd4 ♖e1+ 33. ♖d1 ♖xd1+ 34. ♕xd1 ♕xc3+ 35. ♔b1 ♕xh3

I just went this far and surely missed a few options.

My prefered option was the following but with very little probability to be the solution as there is no forcing moves suite in it(What ♖obins Smith ** calls a canyon). 31. ... d4 32. cxd4 32.c4 ♕c3+ 33. ♕xc3 dxc3 34. ♖b1 c2 35. ♖b2 ♖e1+ 36. ♖b1 cxb1=♕#

** Robin Smith: Modern Chess Analysis. Mainly oriented toward Chess Engines.

Jan-05-08  wals: Aleksandar Matanovic - Petrosian, Kiev 1959

click for larger view

Analysis by Fritz 11:

1. (-0.84): 31.Rd4-d1 Qa3-c5 32.Qc2-b3 Qc5-c7 33.f4-f5 Re8-e3 34.Rd1xd5 Re3xh3 35.Ka1-b2 Rh3-g3 36.Rd5-d4 Rg3-g2+ 37.Kb2-a1 a7-a5 38.Qb3-c4 Qc7-b8 39.Qc4-b3 Qb8-e8 40.f5-f6 g7xf6 2. (-0.86): 31.Ka1-b1 Re8-e1+ 32.Rd4-d1 Re1xd1+ 33.Qc2xd1 Qa3xc3 34.Qd1xd5 Qc3xh3 35.Qd5-a8+ Kg8-h7 36.Qa8-e4+ g7-g6 37.f4-f5 Qh3-c3 38.Qe4-e7 Qc3-d3+ 39.Kb1-b2 Qd3-b5+ 40.Kb2-c3 Qb5-a5+ 41.Kc3-b2 Qa5-d2+ 42.Kb2-b1 Qd2-d1+ 43.Kb1-b2 Qd1-d4+ 44.Kb2-a3 Qd4-c3+ 45.Ka3-a4 Qc3-c4+

(, 06.01.2008)

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Found the game continuation, but not White's best defense.
Jan-05-08  johnlspouge: <sharkw>: Your line (c) is a draw.

c) 37. Kc2 fxg4 38. hxg4 g6 39. Kxc3 a5

You observe (very nicely, I thought) that 39...a5 is a necessary interpolation. Otherwise, 40.b4, and after dissolution of the K-side Ps, the White K must go to b4 and permit the Black K to force a standard R P draw. Unfortunately, the tempo permits the continuation

40.Kd4 h5 41.gxh gxh 42.Ke5

and both continuations favor White

42...Kg2 43.Kf5 Kh3 44.Ke6 and if the Ks don't do the shuffle, both Ps queen with White getting a check first.

42...h5 43.Ke4 and Black loses.

The position with the Qs on is complicated, true, but with White's K more exposed, it pays Black to keep the Qs on, unless he sees a clear win in a K+P endgame.

Jan-05-08  DukeAlba: After HOURS UPON HOURS of my own analysis (I do all my own stunts) I never once considered Rxd4 because as several members already point out, 32. Rb3 is a better response.

I guess any move you make can be good given your opponent plays bad. I don't think that this can qualify as a good puzzle since white clearly didn't play his best move...

Jan-06-08  hovik2003: All you machineheads out there 32.Rb3 loses because of ending it results, so claims like bad play by white is outragous, if all the past and present world champions like Karpov, Fischer and Tal combined with all your up to date engines giving one week for analysis never could save this game for white after 31st move against even player like me and not Great Petrosian himself , so please don't indulge yourself with chess fantasies and try to learn something by logic!
Jan-06-08  znprdx: Pleased to have found d4 (thanx to this week's CG theme) but after 9th ply ...35.Qxh3 up pawn , up game - I see nothing absolute - surely 36.Qg1 should be good enough - where's the beef? It seems like just an endgame where anything goes....

Upon looking I find the forum analysis more interesting: nice work one and all, except <hovik2003> RELAX.... I figured the Rb3 defense too risky because I was fantasizing about ...d3, now if that would work you'd have a puzzle; bottom line- once again - <CG>this was NOT: it is just another game

Jan-06-08  hovik2003: <znprdx>
Yes same kind of feelings here too buddy!, I find all the postings on this page interesting except yours <znprdx> and that is not a paradox.
Jan-06-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <hovik2003: All you machineheads out there 32.Rb3 loses because of ending it results ... please don't indulge yourself with chess fantasies and try to learn something by logic! >

Instead of the obnoxious comment from which the above quote came, why don't you show how black should proceed to win? To quote myself now when commenting about 32.Rb3:

<It might be just a matter of technique, but perhaps someone can shed more insights here - engines won't provide much help, since the (expected) black win is definitely past their horizon.>

The comments from, e.g., <a q maclanahan>, <johnlspouge>, <sharkw> are an example of the discussion that I was hoping to see, but there is still no conclusion that 32.Rb3 is losing for white.

Your earlier comment, <hovik2003: After 31...d4 32.Rb3 Re1+ 33.Rb1 Rxb1+ 34.Kxb1(same is Qxb1) dxc3 white could only wait and watch how black's a-pawn advance to a4 square for final combination.> gives some indication of what perhaps might be the idea for black's win, but its credibility is lacking because of the assertion that the bad blunder 34.Qxb1 is the same as 34.Kxb1.

Here's a possible continuation after 34.Qxb1:

34. Qxb1 Qxc3+ 35. Qb2 f5! 36. Qxc3 dxc3 37. gxf5 Kf7 38. Kb1 Kf6 39. Kc2 Kxf5 40. Kxc3 Kxf4

click for larger view

and white has obviously no prayer here.

Show us, please, something equally convincing after 34.Kxb1

Jan-06-08  hovik2003: <MostlyAverageJoe><Show us, please, something equally convincing after 34.Kxb1>

after 31...d4 32.Rb3 Re1+ 33.Rb1 Rxb1+ 34.Kxb1 dxc3 with creeping bond on b2 square. If white plays best move like

35.Qb3 Qa5 36.Kc2 Qc7 37.Qxc3 Qxf4 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qd7 (exchange of Queens by 39.Qf5+ Qxf5 is worse) Qf2+ 40.Kb3 g6 41.Qd3 Qc5 42.a4 a5

click for larger view

Same bond returns on b4 square now
So after 43.Qd2 g5 black wins and I am tired of typing, use your engine after this to make sure.

Jan-06-08  hovik2003: sorry mistype on last comment 43...g5 is wrong I meant 43...h5
Jan-06-08  ALEXIN: Today the combination not involves a clear win. There are a lot of drawing positions in such queen endgames. In my opinion ultimately the quality of the puzzles is going down.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <hovik2003>
<after 31...d4 32.Rb3 Re1+ 33.Rb1 Rxb1+ 34.Kxb1 dxc3 with creeping bond on b2 square. If white plays best move like 35.Qb3 Qa5 36.Kc2 Qc7 37.Qxc3 Qxf4 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qd7 (exchange of Queens by 39.Qf5+ Qxf5 is worse) Qf2+ 40.Kb3 g6 41.Qd3 Qc5 42.a4 a5>

Honestly, there is not anything forcing in your line. For example, instead of 37 Qxc3 white can play 37 Qa4. Now, black's a and b pawns are under attack. The position is still uncertain.

No one yet has demonstrated a forcing continuation to declare a win for black. A draw seems likely.

Jan-07-08  hovik2003: I must admit that I was wrong and I apologize for my previous harsh comment, after spending lot of time (and money I could have made instead) on this position [after 31...d4 32.Rb3 Re1+ 33.Rb1 Rxb1+ 34.Kxb1 mutally forced moves] seems like there is no forced winning line for black, so I kind of agree with <ALEXIN> and <Jimfromprovidence> about this puzzle.

My initial wrong impression was as <MAJ> noticed that I didn't diffrentiate between 34.Qxb1 and 34.Kxb1 lines, where in secend line white king is not on a1 any more and black doesn't have the tempo for check on c1 after white queen moves.

Jan-07-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <hovik2003> OK, all is cool.

Meanwhile, I've been burning CPU cycles on auto-play, 22 plies/move, trying to get something out of the silicon against all hopes. So far, I got this:

Initial line that is reasonably forced: <31. ... d4 32. Rb3 Re1+ 33. Rb1 Rxb1+ 34. Kxb1 dxc3 35. Qb3>

Continuation: 35 ... Qc5 36. Kc2 Qf2+ 37. Kxc3 Qxf4 38. Kb2 h5

click for larger view

and now the silly software has been thinking for 8 hours whether to play 39.a3 or 39.gxh5. The valuation of the position has been getting better for the black, and reached now (-1.63).

All this proves is what we all (should) know: software still needs to make a lot of progress in endgames. Figuring out whether this is a draw or a win is still beyond the capabilities of one of the best programs.

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