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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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <sleepyirv: I missed the Qa8+ for a while, after spotting it, everything fell into place. *** >

This goes for me, too. After first considering the immediate 34. Qa8+ and finding nothing convincing against 34. ... Nf8, the idea of first 34. Nxd7 and only then 35. Qa8+ came within a few seconds.

This was one of those puzles that I solved probably only because I knew there was "something" tactical there to be found. This one is a good example of why one should always examine all checks and captures (in this case, a capture followed by a check on the second move). Of course, not all such moves are good, but their forcing nature makes them worth examining.

Jan-14-09  tkelava: Also saw Re3 Nf8 but it seems to me that after Qd4 white wins at least exchange N for R
Jan-14-09  Antonius Blok: Didn't found it (3 mn of reflexion before I decided to see the solution

I was on: 34.Re3 (34...Rxe3 35.Qg8 #) but It's easy countered by 34...Nf8.

However I tought it was the good first move.

Jan-14-09  tkelava: wrong black can answer re3 and white can onlz get rook back, sorry
Jan-14-09  gtgloner: I am guessing 34. Qa8+ and if 34. ... Nf8 (not Kg7 because of Qg8#), 35. Nd7 which looks fatal for Black. Let's see.
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.

Jan-14-09  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Jan-14-09  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.
Jan-14-09  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 !

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