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Leonid Yudasin vs Judit Polgar
SKA-Mephisto Tournament (1991), Munich GER, rd 4, May-??
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-14-09  c o r e: Re3 looked tasty to me, too. Today I don't get the full point, but since Fritz gives me "second best move" credit, I'll settle for a :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: If one removes the rook from e6 then White wins at once with 34.Qg8 mate. Therefore, 34.Re3:

A) 34... Rxe3 35.Qg8#.

B) 34... Nxf6 35.gxf6 Qxf6 (35... Rxf6 36.Rxe7; 35... Rxe3 36.fxe7) 36.Rxe6 winning.

C) 34... Nc5(e5) 35.Qa8+ Qe8 (35... Kg8 36.Qg8#) 36.Nxe8 winning.

However, after

D) 34... Nf8 White probably doesn't have anything better than trying to achieve a better endgame with 35.Rxe6.

This suggests eliminating the knight, one of the back rank defenders, 34.Nxd7:

A) 34... Qxd7 35.Qa8+ Re8 (35... Kg7 36.Qf8#; 35... Qe8 36.Rf8+) 36.Rf8+ Kg7 (36... Rxf8 37.Qxf8#) 37.Qxe8 Qg4+ 38.Kf2

A.1) 38... Qd4+ 39.Ke1 Qh4+ (39... Qg1+ 40.Rf1) 40.Rf2 winning.

A.2) 38... Qh4+ 39.Kf3 Qh5+ 40.Ke4 Qg4+ 41.Kd5 Qg2+ (41... Qxg5+ 42.Kc6) 42.Ke6 Qe4+ 43.Kd7 Qb7+ 44.Kxd6 winning.

B) 38... Re1+ 39.Kg2

B.1) 39... Qe2+ 40.Kh3 winning.

B.2) 39... Re2+ 40.Kg3 Qxd7 41.Qa8+ as A).

B.3) 39... Qxd7 40.Qa8+ as A).

I think 34.Nxd7 is much better than 34.Re3. Let's see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: If you start with white to make his 35th move, it's a monday puzzle. Moving the game back to move 34 makes it harder since there are many other themes to look at with all the knight moves. However, if you go through the list of forcing moves (Re3 doesn't even come up then, since it's threatening but not really forcing, then you land on Nxd7 pretty fast, when black can recaputure in only one way. Of course this process works only if you solve the puzzle ;-).
Jan-14-09  njchess: Looking at the position, Black's queen is overly burdened protecting both his knight and rook. Also, his king is exposed to check via Qa8+ or Qd4+.

A quick analysis tells me that Re3 is going nowhere after Nf8. Nxd7 shouldn't be refused at this stage of the game unless Black can obtain perpetual check, which he can't (e.g. 34. Nxd7 Re1+ 35. Kg2 Qe2+ 36. Kg3 Rg1+ 37. Kf4 and White escapes).

So, 34. Nxd7 Qxd7 35. Qa8+ Re8 36. Rf8+! Kg7 37. Qxe8 is winning for White since Black will be unable to maintain perpetual check. Time to check.

Jan-14-09  johnlspouge: Wednesday (Medium/Easy)

Yudasin vs Judit Polgar, 1991 (34.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kh8 has one legal move, the dark square g7. The White Qd5 could mate at g8, so the Black Rd6 is pinned to the mating square g8. The White Rf3 is mobile, but requires activation. Black threatens …Re1+ further exposing the insecure White Kg1, suggesting that White requires a forcing candidate: a check, capture, or threat. The candidate 34.Re3, which exploits the pin on Rd6 while blocking the Black threat, is already promising.

Candidates (34.): Qa8+, Nxd7, Re3

34.Nxd7 (threatening, if Re6 moves, 35.Rf8+ Kg7 36.Qg8#)

To compensate for the material loss, Black can counterattack or recapture:

(1) 34…Re1+ 35.Kg2 Qe2+

[35...Re2+ 36.Kg3 Qxd7 does not address the threat]


Having dropped a N, Black runs out of checks and still faces the mate threat. Thus, the candidate 34.Nxd7 requires some courage, but calculation shows that the Black counterattack runs out of steam quite harmlessly.

(2) 34…Qxd7 [else, drop a N] 35.Qa8+ (threatening 36.Qf8#)

36.Re8 [Qe8 is worse] Rf8+ 37.Kg7 [Rxf8 Qxf8#]

38.Rxe8 Qg4+ 39.Qg2

<[Toga prefers 38.Rxe8 to 38.Qxe8, as in the game, but it really does not matter.]>

White can eventually bunker his K at h1 behind his R shielding the 1-st rank, his Q shielding the a8-h1 diagonal, and his Ph3 shielding the h-file. With Pg5 spearheading a White advance into the Black K-position, the mate threats against the Black K leave no doubt about the outcome of the game.

The other candidate

34.Re3 Nf8

does not improve on 34.Nxd7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White forces the win of a rook-then he has to fight off the threat of a perpetual check.

At least in this game-the addage:man smart/women smarter-did not apply.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: This was a good one! Another lesson for me in the dangers of excessive focus on a superficially attractive but unsound combination.

I fell so in love with the checkmate via Qg8 (after 34 Re3 Rxe3??)that I assumed Re3 had to be the key. I saw that after 34 Re3 34 ... Nf8 appears to defend but I dismissed that as trivial. I was thinking maybe 35 Nxh7 Qxh7 36 Rxe6 etc. Wrong again!

Never even noticed the possibility of Qa8+.

Jan-14-09  YouRang: Phfft. I think that 34.Re3 is much more elegant looking than the mundane 34.Nxd7. It HAD to be the answer. :-(

Granted, 34...Nf8 seems to defend, but black's pieces are now tied up.

So, I'm going to pretend that white wins with a sort of zugzwangish game, and for the next few moves will advance some pawns, before trading off material until we have a winning K+N+pawns ending where white's superior position wins. (It beats admitting that I botched the puzzle.)

Jan-14-09  alexandrovm: Re3, exchange of rook for knight...
Jan-14-09  DarthStapler: I got it
Jan-14-09  psmith: I too went for Re3.

But actually the position after Re3 is pretty neat, and probably winning for White, though I didn't for the life of me see this.

That is: 35. Re3 Nf8 36. Re4 and Black is in a terrible bind. White can slowly improve his pawn position before trading down into a winning ending.

Jan-14-09  psmith: Ah, <YouRang> got there before me!
Jan-14-09  SamAtoms1980: In good company with all the other Re3 biters.

After 34 ... Nf8 I hoped it would be possible to get something to go but nothing does. Looked at 34 Qa8+ but again 34 ... Nf8 is the stopper. Got as far as 34 Nxd7 Qxd7 35 Qa8+ but it seemed like 35 ... (Q/R)e8 would hold it. The stroke of Rf8+ got past me. Even then the specter of perpetual check is imposing.

Having to think 8-9 moves deep, is unusual for a midweeker.

Jan-14-09  MiCrooks: I actually looked at Nxd7 first but missed the key Rf8! later, so then I jumped on the immediate Qa8+ since Nf8 is forced thinking that Nd5 left Black with just a few checks before I won the Knight and the game...OOOPS!!

I had even briefly considered the impact of Judit's checks, but in a rush decided to just look at the answer. Seeing it was different I dropped the position into Fritz and low and behold I am getting mated by Black, lol! In my rush, I blindly missed that Black had the possibility of Qxg5+ which leaves me in a nice mating net. Oh well...and on a Wednesday to boot!! The shame :)

Jan-14-09  TheaN: Wednesday 14 January 2009


Material: =

Candidates: Qxe6, Qa8†, Re3, Qa8†, <[Re3?!]> including an entire post until I stumped on 34....Nf8!, <<[Nxd7]>>

Finally! About time. After ages of Re3?! Nf8! I finally think I'm seeing this. It is not the pinned Rook on e6 that's the direct target, it's the King.

<34.Nxd7!> such a simple but winning move.

<34....Qxd7 35.Qa8†> whoops. Black is in severe trouble now, although she might have noticed that too late.

<35....Re8 (Kg7 36.Qf8‡ 1-0 or Qe8 36.Rf8†! ) 36.Rf8†> ouch! That must hurt. Black cannot capture on f8.

<36....Kg7 (Rxf8 37.Qxf8‡ 1-0) 37.Rxe8 Qg4† 38.Qg2† Qd1† 39.Kf2 Qd2† 40.Re2 > and White will escape perpetual.

<34....Re1†> intermediate moves won't work...

<35.Kg2 Re2† (Qe2† 36.Kh3! ) 36.Kg3 > and Black is out of checks, and Qxd7 meets the same reply as in variation A.

And it looks like Black is out of good moves on move 34. With the threats of Qa8†, Rf8† and Qd4†, Black will probably resign.

Jan-14-09  TheaN: 3/3

Maybe I slightly overlooked the perpetual avoiding with the better:

<39.Qf1! Qd4†/Qg4† 40.Kh1> rather than 39.Kf2?!, but it is winning, and I would've probably played that out better if it were in a game. Point for me.

Jan-14-09  akapovsky: I was expecting something more difficult for today <Nxd7> wins but I also happen to look at other moves like <Qa8+> and <Re3> but the text move just jumped straight at me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: Tough one and no luck for me today. I looked at all the candidate moves outlined by other kibitizers (except 34. Re3) and couldn't find a solution.

Then of course, I saw 34. Re3 and thought "okay, here we go." After quickly spotting the defence 34 ...Nf8, I spend some time trying to crack it.

Of course, it would help if I actually had the correct 34th move!

My problem with the actual sequence played in the game is that I looked at it up to 35 ...Qe8 and 35 ...Re8 as possible moves, but I just didn't think of the correct 36. Rf8+ follow-up.

I have to say, it is a nice little tactical play - maybe next time...

Jan-14-09  Marmot PFL: I also liked 34.Re3 - stops Re1+ and has a one move mate trap. Unfortunately after 34...Nf8 all white has is the eventual win of d6 with a long grind to score the point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: <akapovsky: I was expecting something more difficult for today <Nxd7> wins but I also happen to look at other moves like <Qa8+> and <Re3> but the text move just jumped straight at me.>

Personnaly, I must admit that I saw 34. Re3, but of course, after 34. ...Nf8, White does not get much. And there was 34.Qa8+, but again, 34. ...Nf8 is stubborn. Because of these defenses based on black's N, I then turned to 34.Nxd7, but 34. ...Re1+ discouraged me from calculating this line any further. There had to be something else...

But I found nothing.

May I ask you what made you consider 34.Nxd7 on top of anything else ? Could you see that:

1) 34. ...Re1+ was not a problem, after all and;
2) The arrival of the white R at f8 was the final crusher ?

Just wondering, cause I just could not get passed these 2 difficulties and I would like to know how I could eventually evaluate correctly such a position OTB...

Peace !

Jan-14-09  akapovsky: <ZUGZWANG67> Well when <Nxd7> came to mind I looked at <Re1+> and calculated and saw that there is no mate or perpetual and to my own surprised did it pretty fast.Then I calculated the line < Qxd7> but the position actually played it'self in my head just like when you see a tuesday or monday puzzle.Either way some problems just happen to be easier to some people than others and I'll admit I missed fairly simple puzzles.The final answer is <pattern recognition> the position just plays itself. You may also call it intuition but just keep solving puzzles and before you know it everything becomes clearer.Hope I answer your question.


Jan-14-09  IT4L1CO: Exactly the same theme here

T L Petrosian vs Y Drozdovskij, 2004

Jan-14-09  TheBish: Yudasin vs Judit Polgar, 1991

White to move (34.?), "Medium/Easy" (2 stars)

Candidate moves: 34. Qa8+, 34. Nxd7, 34. Re3.

My first reaction was that the solution had to be 34. Re3(!), since 34...Rxe3 is not possible because of 35. Qg8 mate. After 34. Re3 Ne5? (or Nc5?) 35. Qa8+, White mates or wins the queen, i.e. 35...Kg7 36. Qg8# or 35...Qe8 36. Nxe8. But Black has a defense! After 34. Re3 Nf8!, White doesn't have anything better than 35. Rxe6 Qxe6, with a draw the likely outcome.

Similarly fruitless is 34. Qa8+ Qf8 (or even Nf8).

Winning, however, is 34. Nxd7! Qxd7 (useless is 34...Re1+ 35. Kg2 Re2+ 36. Kg3! and the checks run out) 35. Qa8+ Re8 (or Qe8 36. Rf8+, winning the queen, or 35...Kg7 36. Qf8#) 36. Rf8+ Kg7 (of course, 36...Rxf8 37. Qf8 mates) 37. Qxe8 (or Rxe8) Qg4+ 38. Kf2, and Black's checks will soon run out, a full rook down.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <ZUGZWANG67> An ex girlfriend of mine used to say that to find a prince charming you must kiss a lot of frogs.

So in tactical positions like this one, we need to take a risk in examining a variation that might look crazy at first. Just like kissing a frog, right?

34. Nxd7 appeals because it clears both of the pieces that are defending f8. And why else do we have a rook on f3 if we are not thinking about Rf8+ at some time?

Okay, so we do need to examine 34...Re1+, but we are still a knight up. So black either needs to grab other material or mate us, or he has to play Qxd7 at some point. A quick look at 34...Re1 ought to reassure us that the checks soon run out and black has to play Qxd7.

Then you need to look at both 35. Rf8+ and 35. Qa8+ to see which is most promising. Rf8+ turns out to be a frog, but Qa8+ has potential.

<akapovsky> is absolutely right when he/she mentions pattern recognition. When you see a position like this ...

click for larger view

... something in your memory needs to shout Rf8+ to overload the rook on e8. Can't remember where I first saw this trick, but it's somewhere in the dustier regions of the grey cells.

Of the best pieces of advice I ever read about chess was to always try to look a little deeper into a position than you think you need. We shouldn't dismiss a variation because it looks a little scary at first. Every now and again, a frog does turn into a prince.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Wednesday January 14, 2009 puzzle solution, White's 34. Nxd7!! initiates a winning decoy sacrifice offer after 34...Qxd7 35. Qa8+ Re8 36. Rf8+! .

White wins a piece, and after a few futile spite checks, Black surrenders.

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