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Sofia Polgar vs Giovanni Vescovi
Wch U20 (1994), Matinhos BRA, Sep-??
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Yugoslav Attack Panov Variation (B76)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-20-10  David2009: Zsofia Polgar vs G Vescovi, 1994 Black 22...?

On general principles, Black, a piece ahead and fully developed, should be cruising to victory - but the position is not clearcut. Some sample tries:
(A) 22...Bxd4 23 Rh7+ Bg7 24 Bxc4 with dangerous threats (B) 22...Rxb4 23 Bxc4 Rcxc4 24 Bxg7 (if 24 Rh7 Rxd4 0-1) Rb1+ 25 Kxb1 Nc3+ 26 Bxc3 Qxg5 and Black has Q+P for R+B, a dangeous passed Pawn and a reasonably secure King: if 27 Rdf1+ Ke6 28 Rf6+ Kd7 29 Rh7+ Kc6 the checks have run out and "if my analysis of the position is right" (Joseph and the dreamcoat) Black is taking over. (C) 22...Qxb4 seems too slow: 23 Bxc4 Qxc4 (if 23...Qb2+? 24 Bxb2 there is no checkmate since inter alia the Nd5 is pinned) 24 Rdf1+ and Black may be winning but it is unclear.

In a game I would go with my instinct and try (B) before I lose on time and hope for the best. Time to check:
Black played a2 - and lost. The notes are short on detail. Was my line (B) any better? Time to read other kibitzes and seek Crafy's help. To be continued: meanwhile social/domestic duties call.

Jun-20-10  morfishine: <Once> Thanks, that was explained to me previously; However, this introduces inconsistency as the side-moving doesn't isn't guaranteed to win or even draw. Perhaps that's good as it forces one to analyze both sides in detail instead of focusing on one-side
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <morfishine> Exactly! That is what raises above a collection of puzzles. We don't know whether we are looking for a win or draw a forced tactical sequence or a strong initiative. The solution might be what was actually played in the game, or it could be a line that was missed. Or in some rare cases, our task might be to avoid falling into a trap.

It forces us to be cautious, quizzical, sceptical, inquiring, curious, analytical, sometimes instinctive and sometimes precise.

In other words ... better chess players.

Jun-20-10  RandomVisitor: After 22...a2!:


click for larger view

Rybka 3:

[-4.47] d=20 23.bxa5 Bxd4 24.Rh7+ Bg7 25.Kd2 <Nf6> 26.Ke3 Rb1 27.e5 Nxh7 28.Qf4+ Kg8 29.Bxc4+ Kh8 30.Bxa2 Rxd1 31.Ke2 Rh1 32.Qe4

Jun-20-10  awfulhangover: Comps show that if 25.-Nf6 black had won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane)

Zsofia Polgar vs G Vescovi, 1994 (22…?)

Black to play and win.

Material: N for P. The White Kc1 has 2 legal moves, b1 (which Rb8 x-rays through the White Pb4) and d2 (which Qa5 x-rays, also through Pb4). The Kc1 is secured from check. White plans to regain material by Pe4xd5, because Qg5 pins Nd5 to Qa5. Black has a passed Pa3 near Kc1, but the mutually antagonistic Black Bg7 and White Bd4 dispute queening square a1. The Black Kf7 is temporarily secured from all but pointless checks from Qg5, but might become vulnerable to Bxc4+, Rdf1+, Rhf1+, or particularly Rh7+.

Candidates (22…): a2, Bxd4

22…a2 (threatening 23…a1=Q 24.Bxa1 Qxa1+ 25.Kd2 Qc3+ 26.Kc1 Qe3+ 27.Qxe3 Nxe3)


Candidates (23…): Rb1+, Bxd4

23…Bxd4 24.Rh7+

[Rxd4 a1=Q+ 25.Kd2 Qxd4+ then 26…Qe3+ exchanging Qs and winning]

24…Bg7 25.Rxg7+ [Kd2 Rb1] [else, a1=Q+]

At this point, I timed out (on a Sunday yet!).

Jun-20-10  oxxo: once: "Are those buzzy Venezuelas a bit of local colour?"

did you mean vuvuzelas?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A tactical slug fest. Let us unearth the root, because the sicilian plow green shoots creating new territory all the time. Her basic threat food for thought is f4 opening rooks channels pecking off eventually king's defences. The pawn a2 bolting leaves it flowering, arable black is miles from mate however. Rh7+ pick of the crop fights back just a min 25..Nf6! would have milked white contending the field. Question is A row main effect can white hold or is it tip of the iceberg?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <oxxo> Indeed, and the Jabberwocky ball is the Jabulani and Luke Warmwater is Luke Skywalker. It's a literary device known as a malapropism, where a character misspells or mispronounces a long word for comic effect.

But if you have to explain a joke, it ain't funny.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <David2009> <22...Rxb4 23 Bxc4 Rcxc4 24 Bxg7 (if 24 Rh7 Rxd4 0-1) Rb1+ 25 Kxb1 Nc3+ 26 Bxc3 Qxg5 and Black has Q+P for R+B, a dangeous passed Pawn and a reasonably secure King:>

Your 23...Rcxc4 puts the king in harm's way. White has 24 Rdf1+, seeing 24...Ke8 25 Qxg6+ Kd7 26 Qxg7+, etc. and you will lose the knight.

click for larger view

On the other hand, doubling up your rooks with 23 Rbxc4 might not be so bad.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's Sunday puzzle got the best of me. I went for the cheapo 22...Bb3?? 23. bxa5?? Rxc2+ 24. Kb1 Nc3+ 25. Bxc3 a2+ 26. Ka1 Bxc3#, but completely overlooked White's clever counter 22...Bb3?? 23. Bc4! which wins easily after Bxc4 24. bxa5 Nf6 25. Rdf1! .

The winning line for the many time Brazilian Champion and GM was the deep passed pawn combination 22...a2!! 23. bxa5 Bxd4 24. Rh7+ Bg7, as played in the game. However, after 25. Kd2, Black makes a wrong decision in playing 25...Rb1? to prepare for the quickest possible promotion of his passed pawn.

Who can blame him? Here we have a very talented 16 year old Brazilian Junior champion who no doubt has been taught the maxim "passed pawns must be pushed" at the earlierst opportunity. However, he didn't see deep enough to realize he must first play 25...Nf3! to defend his King position before playing ...Rb1 to prepare the advance of his passed pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After 25...Nf6!, White can complicate things with 26. Qe3.

Black still wins, but has to find some clever moves. The winning line appears to be 25...Nf6! 26. Qe3

click for larger view


Interestingly, this sharp move, except for perhaps the passive 26...Rb7 , may be the only moves that doesn't lose for Black in this position.

Now Black wins with solid defense and the promotion of the pawn after 27. Qxa7+ Ke8 28. Qxg7 Rxd1+ 29. Ke3 Nxg4+ 30. Kf3 Rxf1+ 31. Kxg4 Be6+ 32. Kg3 Bf7 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Qxc8 a1=Q .

Jun-20-10  Marmot PFL: Quite a position. Not sure what is going on, but ended up playing it like Polgar. One reason I don't play the Dragon.
Jun-20-10  Marmot PFL: I should say I played it like the other guy (Polgar's victim).
Jun-20-10  David2009: My previous analysis (Zsofia Polgar vs G Vescovi, 1994) is riddled with holes : (A) 22...Bxd4 is refuted by 23 Rxd4 (B) 22...Rxb4 23 Bxc4 Rcxc4 is refuted by 24.Rdf1+ Kg8 25.Rh8+ Kxh8 26.Qh6+ Kg8 27.Qxg7# (C) 22...Qxb4 is refuted by 23.Rh7 e.g. Qb2+ 24.Bxb2 axb2+ 25.Kd2 Ba2 26.exd5 b1=Q 27.Rxb1 Bxb1 28.Bd3 and wins easily.

Best is the game/ analysis line 22...a2! 23.bxa5 Bxd4 24.Rh7+ Bg7 25.Kd2 Nf6! which wins, although Crafty finds resources for the defence.

CraftyEGT link to the puzzle position (with colours reversed):

click for larger view White to play and win. You can try alternative attacking lines. Enjoy!

Jun-20-10  Ferro: Y Qh6?
(After 25...Nf6!)
Jun-20-10  Ferro: a4-b6
Todo lo que se mueve es un atún
Jun-20-10  gofer: Well my best guess is...

22 ... a2

23 Rh7 a3+ 24 Kd2 Qxb4+ 25 Kc1 Qa3+ 26 Kd2 Qa5+ 27 Kc1 Rb1+ 28 Kxb1 Qa1#

23 c3 a1=Q+ 24 Kd2 Q5a2+ 25 Ke1 Qxd1+ 26 Kxd1 Nxc3+ 27 Bxc3 Bb3+ 28 Ke1 Bxc3+ 29 Qd2 Qxd2#

23 exd5/Bxg7 a1=Q+ 24 Bxa1 Qxa1+ 25 Kd2 Qc3+ 26 Kc1 Qa3+ 27 Kd2 Qxb4+ 28 Kc1 Qa3+ 29 Kd2 Qa5+ 30 Kc1 Rb1+ 31 Kxb1 Qa1#

23 Bxc4 a1=Q+ 24 Bxa1 Qxa1+ 25 Kd2 Qc3+ 26 Kc1 Rxc4 27 Rhf1+ Nf6 28 Qd5+ Ke8 winning

So instead of these we get the obvious and main line...

23 bxa5 ...

Now black has to be very careful. Obvious attacking moves like Rb1+ or a1=Q+ get no where (I think), but laying a mating net (i.e. Rb1+ Kd2 Bc3# is threatened) with also a potential queen trap (i.e Be3+) seems to bare fruit!

23 ... Bxd4!

24 Bxc4 Qxa1+ 25 Kd2 Qc3+ 26 Ke2 Qxc5+ 27 Kf3 Nf6 winning 24 Rxd4 Qxa1+ 25 Kd2 Qxd4+ 26 Bd3 Qf2+ 27 Kc1 Qe3+ winning

25 Rh7+ Bg7
26 Kd2 Rb1

27 Bxc4 Rxd1+ 28 Kxd1 a1=Q+ (Ke2 Rxc4) 29 Ke2 Rxc4 30 dxd5 Rxc2+ winning

27 exd5 Rxd1+ 28 Kxd1 a1=Q+ 29 Kd2 Qc3+ 30 Kd1 Bxf1 winning

27 Rxg7 Kxg7
28 Bxc4 Rxd1+ 29 Kxd1 Nc3+! 30 Ke1 a1=Q+ 31 Kd2/Kf2 Nxe4+ winning 28 exd5 Rxd1+ 29 Kxd1 a1=Q+ 30 Kd2 Bc3+ 31 Ke3 Qc1+ winning

Time to check...

Jun-20-10  gofer: I saw Nf6 in lots of my lines, but didn't find it in the critical one!


Nice position though lots to look at and lots of times that white had the same options but had to disregard them again and again!

Jun-20-10  TheBish: Zsofia Polgar vs G Vescovi, 1994

Black to play (22...?) "Insane"

Black is up a piece, but both queen and knight are attacked by pawns, so it's not clear how he can maintain any material advantage, at least immediately. Figuring a queen sac must be involved (hence "insane"), I found something that looks winning.


This works because Black will get rid of Black's d4 bishop before queening; however, there are still many ways to go wrong!

23. bxa5

Otherwise, Black just wins a piece by queening with check.


Black goes wrong with 23...Rb1+? 24. Kd2 Bxd4 25. Bxc4; the short answer for that is that Black needs to queen with check.

24. Rh7+

Losing quickly is 24. Bxc4 a1=Q+ 25. Kd2 Qc3+ 26. Ke2 Qxc2+ 27. Rd2 Qxe4+ with a mating attack, or 24. Kd2 Bc3+ 25. Kc1 a1=Q#, or if you prefer 25...a1=R# or 25...Rb1#.

24...Bg7 25. Kd2 Nf6!!

This move was hard to find! Black threatens the rook on h7 as well as 26...Nxe4+ with a nasty fork.

26. Bxc4+ Rxc4 27. Qe3 Rb1!

But not 27...Nxh7? 28. Qxa7+ and 29. Qxb8, and White should win.

28. Qa3 Nxe4+!

Who needs a rook when you can win the queen? Besides, after 28...Nxh7?! 29. Qxa2 Rbb4, Black is only slightly better.

29. Ke2 Rxc2+ 30. Ke1 Nc3! 31. Qxa2+ Rxa2 32. Rxb1 Nxb1 and Black is up two pieces and a pawn. Time for White to throw in the towel!

Jun-20-10  ajile: OK well they should say that it's a Black win IF Black makes the right 2 or more moves. Based on past experience when they say it's Black to move and win Black actually wins the game.
Jun-20-10  Fezzik: I made exactly the same mistake Vecovi did!!! I thought a2 was obvious, but I missed Nf6!!!

Oh well. Polgar defended brilliantly.

Jun-20-10  Fezzik: And to those who complain that the players didn't play perfectly:

That's how we learn! The win/draw is there for us to find (In this case, the win). It's petty and pedantic to presume the players always make the best moves.

Jun-20-10  RandomVisitor: Since 17.Bxc4! is winning for white, black must play another 16th move. Perhaps, after 16.Qg5:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.03] d=19 16...d5> 17.e5 Nd7 18.Na2 Qc7 19.Rd2 Nxe5 20.Qe3 Qd6 21.Nb4 Rb7 22.Rdh2 f6 23.Bxa7 Bxg4 24.fxg4 Nxg4 25.Qh3 f5 26.Bg1 Nxh2 27.Bxh2 Qf6 28.Nd3 Qc6 29.c3 Bxc3 30.bxc3 Qxc3+

Jun-11-11  Juninho: there's an interesting article nearly after the game. Polgar add !! b4 moves giving the following lines:

22..., Rxb4! 23. Bxc4, Rbxc4 24. Rdf1, Ke8 25. Qxg6, Kd7 26. Qxg7, Ne7 27. Qxe7!, kxe7 28. Rh7, Ke8 29. Rh8 draw

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