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Viacheslav Ragozin vs Mark Taimanov
"A Taim to Kill" (game of the day May-03-2020)
Leningrad-ch (1945), Leningrad URS
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Classical Variation Maroczy Line (B74)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-24-04  meloncio: What a great attack! Ragozin wrote that Black was waiting 25.Ng5 Bg7 26.Ne6 e4 and still could defend the position. The final knight move is beatiful. If 26. ... e4 27.Qf8+! and checkmate.
Dec-21-05  bumpmobile: Ragozin has another brutal attack with this opening in Ragozin vs Veresov, 1945. My understanding is that the classical variation is supposed to be "quieter" than, say, the Yougoslav. I'm not sure I agree anymore.
Dec-21-05  aw1988: From a quick check through the game, I think Nd6 is the loser. Why not Qc7?
Dec-21-05  sitzkrieg: Why would Nd6 be the loser? F.e. he can play Nf5 instead of Qb2. Better to develop a piece then to place the Queen on c7 where it also can be attacked with a temp with Nd5/
Dec-21-05  Boomie: Looks like 12...d5 is the lemon. Bxd3 looks best.
Dec-22-05  sucaba:
If Taimanov had seen 25. ♘f6, then he might have tried 23. _ f5 24. ♘xd6 e4 25. ♕g3 .

23. ♕xf7+?! ♔h8 24. ♕f6+ ♔g8 25. ♕e6+ ♔h8 26. ♕xd6 ♕xc3 27. ♖f8+ ♔g7! is just a perpetual.

I agree that 12. _ d5 looks suspicious.
But after 20. _ f5, the black position is passable safe.

Dec-23-05  Boomie: <sucaba> Thanks for your thoughtful note.

Here's a Fritz line on 12...♗xd3.

12...♗xd3 13. cxd3 ♘xb3 14. ♕xb3 (0.45/14)

Although black is smiling ear to ear after 20...f5 -0.11/12, white shouldn't let him get there. Here's the improvement for white showing that 12...d5 was about as good as 12...♗xd3 and not the lemon I thought at first glance. Plus d5 is a lot more entertaining :-D

16. ♘xa5 ♕xa5 17. b4 ♕d8 18. ♗xc4 dxc4 19. ♕e2 f5 20. ♖ad1 ♕h4 21. ♗xf8 ♔xf8 (0.44/13)

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: The order of moves is important for Ragozin - 23. ♕xf7+ ♔h8 24. ♘e4 ♖f8! and Black can hold on.
Aug-04-17  Toribio3: GM Taimanov was a great grandmaster. Maybe, he underestimated the caliber of Ragozin.
Apr-06-20  stacase: After wasting time trying to figure out how a smothered mate could be achieved, and instead of looking at 26.Qe8 ad nauseam. What about 26.Ne8 as it threatens 27.Qg8# requiring Black to take the Knight allowing White's Queen to finish the job or Black could tip his King over instead.

This was a little bit Tuesdayish in my opinion. You have to see the mating threat of 26.Ne8 and the following moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a bishop and two pawns.

White can create a double mate threat with 26.Ne8:

A) 26... e4 27.Qf8+ Bxf8 28.Rxf8#.

B) 26... Bh6 27.Qf8+, etc.

C) 26... Rxe8 27.Qxe8+ Bf8 28.Qxf8#.

Apr-06-20  Walter Glattke: ABC) the same, D) 26.-h5 27.Qxg7# E) 26.-Qc5 27.Qxg7# no victim possible, always quick mate.
Apr-06-20  AlicesKnight: Found the game move. An attractive multi-threat. Capturing the poisoned pawn at move 21 let loose the storm.
Apr-06-20  saturn2: 26. Ne8 attacks the bishop and opens the line for the Rf1

26...Bh6 (e4 same) 27. Qf8+ Bxf8 28. Rxf8

Apr-06-20  Brenin: <GrahamClayton> After 23 Qxf7+ Kh8, better than 25 Ne4 is 24 Qf6+ Kg8 25 Qe6+ Kh8 26 Qxd6 Qxc3 27 h4; it's hard to see several moves ahead, but although Black is two pawns up he is helpless against the mating threats, e.g. 27 ... Qg3 28 Rf8+ Kg7 29 Qe7+ Kh6 30 Rxa8. I agree with <AlicesKnight>: 21 ... Qxb2 was greedy, while Qc6 might have been wiser.
Apr-06-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, the great Russian chess player Viacheslav V. Ragozin, who won the 2nd correspondence chess world championship, was a training partner of the 6th world champion Mickhail M. Botvinnik and gave his name to the Nimzo Indian-Queen's Gambit Declined hybrid 1.d4,Nf6 2.c4,e6 3.Nc3,Bb4 4.Nf3,d5, finally found the mate in 3 moves with 26.Ne8!,e4 (26.-,Rxe8 27.Qxe8+,Bf8 28.Qxf8#, 26.-,Bh6 27.Qf8+,Bxf8 28.Rxf8#, 26.-,Bf6 27.Qf8#, 26.-,Qb4/Qa3 27.Qxg7#, 26.-,h6/h5 27.Qxg7#) 27.Qf8+,Rxf8 28.Rxf8#.
Apr-06-20  jffun1958: Very nice finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: TGIM !
Apr-06-20  Nullifidian: 26. ♘e8 Δ ♕xg7#

If 26... ♖xe8, then 27. ♕xe8+ ♗f8 28. ♕xf8#

If 26... ♗h6, then 27. ♕f8+ ♗xf8 28. ♖xf8#

Apr-06-20  TheaN: The infamous Ne8 blockade!

Recently there was a somewhat elaborate post on this motive on how it's relatively hidden, because it's so unnatural for a knight to go to the back rank (sans taking rooks in the corners).

Here, it accomplishes two standalone goals that allow White to mate in all variations: it creates 27.Qxg7# and 27.Qf8+ Bxf8 28.Rxf8#, note that in both patterns the knight's defense of g7 is important. Black has no defense against both mates.

Defending (26....e4) or moving (26....Bf6/Bf8/Bh6) the bishop does not prevent the latter threat; either directly Qf8# or Qf8+ with Rxf8#. Taking the knight weakens the back rank 26....Rxe8 27.Qxe8+ Bf8 28.Qxf8#. Any other move runs into 27.Qxg7#.

Apr-06-20  zb2cr: Took me some time to see that 26. Ne8, shutting off Black's Rook and threatening mate on g7, works. If 26. ... e4, White shifts the focus with 27. Qf8+, Bxf8; 28. Rxf8#.
Apr-06-20  TheaN: <GrahamClayton, Brenin>

To add to this, SF9 needs more than 21-ply to see this: after 22....Bxd6 it gives 23.Ne4?! as +1.5, Taimanov should have taken his losses with 23....f5 (we know how Bf8? -#5 ended) 24.Nxd6 e4 ±. Probably won for White but not incredibly trivial.

<After> playing 23.Qxf7+ does it give +5 for White with 23...Kh8 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Qe6+ Kh8 26.Qxd6 Qxc3 27.h4! +-:

click for larger view

The key in this position is White's threat of 28.Rf8+ Kg7 (else mate) 29.Qe7+ Kh6 30.Rf7!:

click for larger view

and White's mating.

Hence, Black's forced to play 27....Rg8, following 28.Qf6+ Rg7 29.Rd1! h6 30.Rd7!:

click for larger view

and Black's left with the losing 30....Qe1+ 31.Kh2 Qxh4+ 32.Qxh4 Rxd7 33.Qxc4 +-.

Apr-06-20  catlover: <stacase: This was a little bit Tuesdayish in my opinion. You have to see the mating threat of 26.Ne8 and the following moves.>

True. The double mating threat is a bit advanced for a Monday.

Apr-06-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: Fun one.

Ne8 threatens a couple of different mates. ... Rxe8 is the only way to stop them both, but allows a third mate instead.

Yes, it was Tuesdayish for too. But I love Tuesday puzzles. :)

Apr-06-20  Walter Glattke: Testing 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Ne4 from Clayton with 24.-Rf8 25.Qxc4 Rxf1+ 26.Qxf1 Be7 27.Ng5 Qxa2 28.Nf7+ Kg7 29.Nxe5 a5 30.h3 Looks like draw. 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Qe6+ Kh8 (25.-Kg7 26.Rf7+ Kh6 ((Kh8 Qf6+)) 27.Qh3+ Kg6 28.Ne4#) 26.Ne4 Bf8 27.Nf6 Bh6 28.Ne8 wins.
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