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Judit Polgar vs Mihai Suba
Budapest Zonal Group-A (1993), Budapest HUN, rd 3, Mar-05
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Very good puzzle. I not only did not get it, after I saw the solution I had to look several times at the moves before I could fully grasp what had befallen white.
Apr-02-08  johnlspouge: Wednesday (Medium/Easy): Black to play and win.

Material: even, with Bs of opposite color. Black has an aggressive position against the White K-side, with a Ra2 on the 7-th rank, Be5 attacking the weak dark squares around the Black K, and Qg5 nearby. The Black attack is presently focused on the square g2, for which Bf1 is the key defender.

Candidates (43…): Qh5+, Ra1

43…Ra1 (threatening 44…Rxf1)

The Qe1 has two feasible moves to save Bf1.

(1) 44.Qf2 Bd4 45.Qe2 [Qg3 Qxg3 46.Rxg3 Rxf1+ 47.Kh2 Be5] Qh5+ 46.Rh3 Qxe2

(2) 44.Qe2 Qh5+ 46.Kg1 [Rh3 Qxe2] Bd4+,

and White loses Qe2 on either 47.Rf2 or 47.Qf2

The key to the combination is that 43…Ra1 forces the White Qe1 into a self-pin to protect Bf1.

Apr-02-08  johnlspouge: <<Samagonka> wrote: I guess it's like the German saying which goes "man sieht vor lauter Bäume den Wald nicht mehr" (too many trees can hinder you from viewing the forest".>

Hi, <Samagonka>. We have this saying in English as: "You cannot see the forest for the trees." If you could translate into German the German saying (something like) "A stupid man has to think with his feet", I would appreciate it. My landlady told it to me when I lived in Germany, and I remember it fondly, whenever I return somewhere to retrieve needed items.

<<dzechiel> wrote: This has been bothering me for some time after my initial post. But now I see a much faster win>

Hi, <dzechiel>. I missed writing your original line down, probably because it seemed an obvious variant of the lines I did write, but aesthetically, the second finish is a very attractive improvement.

Apr-02-08  Eyal: <eblunt: Isn't 43.Qe3 a whole load better than 43.c5?>

It still loses, though more slowly: 43.Qe3 Qh5+ 44.Rh3 Ra1! (again)

click for larger view

45.Rxh5 Rxf1+ 46.Qg1 Rxg1+ 47.Kxg1 gxh5 and Black easily wins the endgame with a piece up.

45.Kg1 Qd1 46.Qxh6+ (46.Qd3/f3 Qxf1+ 47.Qxf1 Bd4+) 46...Bg7 47.Qf4 Bd4+ and again Black is left with a piece up.

45.Qf2 (or Qf3) Qg4 - White's queen, rook and bishop can't make any useful moves (e.g. 46.Rxh6 Qxc4 loses immediately) and Black picks up at least 2 of the b,c,d pawns.

Basically, it seems that Polgar's 40.c4, allowing Ra1, was a decisive mistake; perhaps it was played in time trouble.

Apr-02-08  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, Black plays 43...Ra1 to deflect the Queen and set a decisive pin and take advantage of the weakened castled position.
Apr-02-08  DarthStapler: I was thinking Ra1 Qf2 Rxf1+ Qxf1 Qh4+ planning Kg1 Bh2+ Kh1 Bg3+ Kg1 Qh2# but I missed the response Rh3 after Qh4+
Apr-02-08  YouRang: Shoot - I missed it. :-(

But, you gotta love the coordination of black's pieces here. What a nice finish.

Apr-02-08  LivBlockade: It seems like Polgar played too aggressively and allowed her position to become overextended. Moves such as 31. h4 and 40. c4 created weaknesses that Suba was able to take advantage of.
Apr-02-08  kevin86: White has so many areas to defend and only three pieces to use. She must guard both the h-file and the back row. The problem is that the queen and rook can't do both without eventually yielding one.

In the text,the rook can stop the final check,but the queen is left hanging,protected only by a pinned bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I know it's not strictly kosher to do this, but when I couldn't see the solution to this puzzle, I set it up on my chessboard to look at it in 3 dimensions--and I had no sooner put the last piece down than I saw Ra1. Makes you wonder how the mind works.
Apr-02-08  s.ahmed: What if 23.Rxa8+
Apr-02-08  YouRang: <johnlspouge><(2) 44.Qe2 Qh5+ 46.Kg1 [Rh3 Qxe2] Bd4+> and after 47.Rf2 we have this:

click for larger view

From a distance, this is the hard-to-see (at least for me) variation. But pretty.

Black shatters white's illusionary defense with 47...Qxe2! You can almost hear the pinned defenders are standing around saying, "I thought YOU were guarding the queen!". :-)

Apr-02-08  TheaN: 3/3

A couple of combinations of tactics win for Black here.


44.Qd2 Qh4+ 45.Kg1 (Rh3 Rxf1#) Bh2+ (thought Qh2+ but that doesn't work, would've played Bh2+ OTB) 46.Kh1 Bg3+ 47.Kg1 Qh2#

44.Qe2 Qh5+ (main point of tactic is the h5-d1 pin) 45.Kg1 (Rh3 Qxe2) Bd4+ and the Queen will fall (46.Re3/f2 Qxe2 double pin).

44.Qf2 Bd4 (switching the moves) 45.Qe2 (46.Qg3 Rxf1+) Qh5+ with a harder blow than Qe2 immediately.

Apr-02-08  MiCrooks: I would have been tempted to play Ra1 earlier, and in fact that would have been better assuming Judit would have found her best defensive resource!

42...Ra1 43. Qf2 f5 leads to a slightly more favorable position than 42...f5 Qe3! though Black is still winning. The real blunder was c5! There were at least 3-5 better choices with Qe3 being the best.

Apr-02-08  capybara: I got today's puzzle. I saw 43...Ra1 straight away, but took 5 minutes to see the conclusion with 45...Qh5+ winning the white Queen after 46.Rh3.
Apr-02-08  012: Tuesday puzzle <57. ?> Apr-01-08 V Zurakhov vs Koblents, 1956
Apr-02-08  Chess Addict: My first instinct was Qxf3 with a possible mate by the Rook on h2.

But then, what's wrong with this tactic??

Apr-02-08  mworld: wow, that was an intricate play, i got most of it, but never noticed the Qh5+ winning the queen...which is to say, i totally missed it :(
Apr-02-08  sotoohy: Also winning is 43..Ra1 44.Qe2 Bg3 and the threat Qh2 mate forces 45.Rxg3 Qxe2 .
Apr-02-08  dzechiel: <Chess Addict: My first instinct was Qxf3 with a possible mate by the Rook on h2.

But then, what's wrong with this tactic??>

After 43...Qxf3 44 gxf3 Rh2+ white simply plays 45 Kg1. :(

Apr-02-08  jheiner: Wow. What a beautiful combination. I did not get this one, even though Ra1 was the move I picked and would have played OTB. Maybe I would have found the combination later, but I'm struggling to find the right mental patterns to establish to find something like this OTB.

Some mental patterns for aggressive play that this position suggests to me. o Threaten pieces of greater value with those of lesser value. o Establish pins. Especially with less pieces on the board, the value of a pin increases. o As the net around the King tightens, forcing moves are stronger.

Still in awe at this one. I found the boring 43...Ra1 44.Qf2 Qxb4 45.c6...struggle to clean up the Queenside pawns, liquidate, and play the endgame. Weak...

Apr-02-08  CaptGeorge: Beautiful combo, I saw the rook move, but not whole combination.
Apr-02-08  johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: <johnlspouge><(2) 44.Qe2 Qh5+ 46.Kg1 [Rh3 Qxe2] Bd4+> and after 47.Rf2>

For the last three days, I was on travel so I abbreviated my solutions (as well as posting them at odd hours ;>0 ) Thanks for having spelled the variation out to completion, <YouRang>. Such a pretty position definitely merited a diagram.

Apr-02-08  johnlspouge: <<jheiner> wrote: Wow. What a beautiful combination. [snip] Some mental patterns for aggressive play that this position suggests to me. o Threaten pieces of greater value with those of lesser value. o Establish pins. Especially with less pieces on the board, the value of a pin increases. o As the net around the King tightens, forcing moves are stronger.]>

It is an interesting question: could one give an algorithm for discovering combinations? The answer is almost surely at least a limited "yes".

Probably the most important thing is to examine every check, capture, and threat (CCT). Many of the easier problems are transparent with a little preliminary positional inspection and an examination for CCT. Another trick I have learned from the 5-dan problem solvers here on this site is to check whether Ks have legal moves. If your K cannot move, it flags a stalemate try for a draw; if the opposing K cannot move, you should examine all manner of "ridiculous" sacrifices, to give that final, fatal check. (The best example of mating the opposing K I know is E Vladimirov vs V Vorotnikov, 1974, where (despite ridiculous claims to the contrary in the kibitzing) <UdayanOwen> calculated several moves in his head and then noticed the opposing K had no legal move, to get the Q sac that crowned an amazing combination).

Nov-02-19  Whitehat1963: Similar to today’s puzzle. Brilliant positional counterattack!
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