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Nigel Short vs Ian Rogers
Manila Olympiad (1992), Manila PHI, rd 13, Jun-22
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B48)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-02-08  Dr. J: <chickens0003> I think after your 36 Kh2 Black can escape with "just" the loss of his queen by 36 ... Rxb2.

<patzer2> Very nice mating finish. I agree it makes an interesting puzzle in its own right.

And, yeah, I confused <dzechiel> with <johnlspouge> in my very first post above. My abject apologies to both of these fine gentlemen.

Jul-02-08  Fezzik: Boy, although the tactic was fairly straight-forward, seeing that it won wasn't.

First of all, to get full points, you have to know what to do after 1.Bf7 Kf7 2.Rd7 Bd7 3.Rd7 Ke6!

Both Short and Rogers saw the key move, but Rogers probably thought the move played only led to a draw. Short had to display excellent technique to drive the point home.

Again, although the main tactic is only about 2 stars, winning the position against a player of Rogers' strength would require 4 stars at least!

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 29.Bxf7+!. That's what Capablanca called a 'petite combination'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's all been said very eloquently by others, so I won't repeat the lines again. The interesting question for me is why did most of us instinctively want to play Bxf7?

Apart from the fact that our queen is hanging, the starting position has a number of key features that ought to ring bells in our tactical memories.

Here are 4 ways to find 29. Bxf7.

1. The queen sitting on h6 and an empty fianchetto makes us think of a mate on g7. Now where is that knight or dark squared bishop? Oops - we have neither. So can we attack g7 from the side using our rooks? We can play 29. Rxd7 Bxd6 30. Rxd7, but that is too slow because our queen falls. Playing Bxf7+ first lures the king to the seventh rank so that our rook arrive on d7 with check.

2. The white bishop and queen seem to be fairly well placed. It is hard to think of better squares for them. But the rooks don't seem to be achieving much. How can we bring them into the game? There is the slow 29. Qxh5 gxh5 30. Kf2 intending Ra1. Or we can hyperspace them to the seventh rank with Rxd7? And again we find that 29. Bxf7 is essential to get there with check.

3. Purdy says that we should examine all checks in a position. Queen checks are clearly useless, so the only other check is 29. Bxf7. Let's see what happens if we play it ...

4. The weakest squares on the chessboard are often f2 for white and f7 for black. In the starting position, f7 is protected only by the king. Black's army is away on the queenside (two rooks and bishop) and kingside (queen), leaving the centre unguarded. So what moves do we have that attack f7? It must be with check or contain a mating combination because our queen is hanging.

Jul-02-08  stacase: Yes, 29 Bxf7+ and White goes from a pawn down to a pawn up. Were black to snatch that Bishop, it would be very ugly. Yes, I would see that one over the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <patzer2> Enjoyed your puzzle!

My solution:

1. Qe4 with the threat of 2. Qh2#

If 1. ... Qg4 2. Qh2+ Qh3 3. Qxh3#

If 1. ... Qxf3 2. Qxg5#

Jul-02-08  Jesspatrick: White's light squared Bishop is a monster.
Jul-02-08  gtgloner: OK, got the key move as well as both possible resulting lines of play today. After the bishop sac on f7, if the king takes, an exchange sac on d7 with rooks to bring the white queen into play for a mating net; and if the black king backs off to h8, QxQ, PxQ and BxP leaving white 2 pawns up in the end game.
Jul-02-08  patzer2: <Once> Good job! Looks like you found a second three-move mate possibility from my diagram in 37. Qe5! (I'm sure that's what you meant, since 37. Qe4 is not a possible legal move in that position.) 37...Qg4 (37...Qxf3 38. Qxg5#; 37...g4 or any other try here meets with 38. Qh2#) 38. Qh2+ Qh3 39. Qxh3#.
Jul-02-08  Marmot PFL: This was harder than the previous two days combined, but finally I realized that if Bxf7+ Kxf7 Rxd7+ Bxd7 Rxd7+ Ke6 (or Ke8) Qg7, and black can't defend against mate on f7 and e7. Short and sweet. Rogers saw it also, and went into the ending, which while preferable to mate is very easy for white with an extra pawn and black's remaining pawns all weak.
Jul-02-08  SuperPatzer77: <dzechiel> <If 31...Kf6 then 32 Qg7+ Kg5 (32...Ke6 Qf7#) 33 Qxe5+ Kh6 34 Qg7+ Kg5 35 Rd5+ Kf4 36 Rxh5 gxh5 37 Kf2 and black can only avoid mate by giving up a rook on b2>

After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#

<dzechiel> Isn't it a piece of cake?


Jul-02-08  zb2cr: White goes up by a Pawn with 29. Bxf7+, Kh8; 30. Qxh5, gxh5; 31. Bxh5. The mating lines if Black accept have been pointed out by others and were what I initially saw to justify going down by a Rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,I was looking at the grand sacrifices at f7 and d7-but I didn't even touch on black's decline of the sac Bf7+ by Kh8.

White picks up two pawns and ends a pawn plus.

Jul-02-08  YouRang: A pretty R+B for 2P sac, which (if swallowed) leads to a not-too-hard Q+R mating attack while black's queen and two rooks watch helplessly from a distance.

The key moves weren't hard to see, mostly because there is practically no other way to bring white's pieces into the attack to support our otherwise immobilized queen.

Of course, black should decline the sac (as he did), which merely leaves black with a dreadful game that he will lose eventually.

Jul-02-08  littlefermat: Strange choice for a Wednesday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Dr. J> wrote: [snip] And, yeah, I confused <dzechiel> with <johnlspouge> in my very first post above. My abject apologies to both of these fine gentlemen. >

Hi, <Dr. J>. I am in the same time zone (PST) as <dzechiel> until Sunday, hence my posts are 9 hours earlier than my normal EST posts. For my part, apology accepted. Without different time zones, my style is almost indistinguishable from <dzechiel>'s ;>)

<<Dr. J> wrote: <Hector> Welcome to the neighbourhood! Relax and enjoy! >

Because of my early post, I can say: <Hector Maluy>, you are impressively fast and accurate! I echo <Dr. J>'s welcome to the neighbo(u)rhood, and I look forward to more of your posts.

Jul-02-08  Kasputin: Black has an extra pawn and both sides have all their heavy pieces plus light squared bishops in play.

Initially both kings look somewhat vulnerable. The way that whites pieces are set up (queen near the enemy king, bishop attacking f7, rooks doubled on the half open d-file) suggests that white should attack the black king - possibly with the idea of delivering mate, possibly to win material. Black looks weak on the dark squares around the king, and it also looks like action could take place on the 6th, 7th, and 8th rank - especially the 7th.

Black of course is threatening to capture the white queen. If white take the black queen first, then blacks pawn structure looks pretty bad (after playing 29 ... gxh5). White could come after those pawns (e.g., moving the king to f2 and the d1 rook to h1), which might not be a bad way to go about things. But is there anything better for white - a way to win material and/or threaten the black king?

Initially anyway, moving the white queen does not look promising.

White can sac the bishop at f7 - what does this do?

First candidate: 29. Bxf7+

Well black can move the king away but lets start by thinking about black being materialistic.

A) 29 ... Kxf7
30. Rxd7+ Bxd7
31. Rxd7+

Moving ... Kg8 allows 32. Qg8# so black can try 31 ... Kf6 or ... Ke8 or ... Ke6 and it looks like black might wriggle away. The only thing that white can do is move the queen to g7. This protects the rook - connects the queen and the rook - and maybe white can deliver mate. Concretely:

31 ... Kf6
32. Qg7+ Kg5 (or ... Ke6; 33. Qe7#)
33. Qxe5+ Kh4
34. Qf4+ Qg4
35. Qxg4#

31 ... Ke8
32. Qg7

Now black cannot do anything with the rooks to prevent mate next move. Also ... Qh2 or h1 is simply a spite check. 32 ... Qh4 or ...g5 prevents mate on e7 but white still has 33. Qf7#. Lastly with ... Qxf3 or ... Qf5 white could take the queen or just play 33. Qe7#

31 ... Ke6
32. Qg7

In this case black can swing a rook over to e8 or f8 but cannot cover both mate squares (e7 and f7). The black queen has exactly the same options as in a2 with the same result (mate is delivered on e7 or f7 depending on what black does).

So it looks like white has mate by force if black simply gobbles up all the offered material. I have just double checked this squence again and it looks correct.

B) What if black declines the rook sac?

29. Bxf7+ Kxf7
30. Rxd7+

Well if black moves ... Ke6 or ... Kf6 then R(d1)d6#. ... Kg8 of course is 31. Qg7# And if black tries ... Ke8 then white basically plays the same sequence as before with the queen moving to g8. The presence of the black bishop does not fundamentally change anything. If the bishop captures the d7 rook then white plays Rxd7, and we have the first mate sequence by transposition. Something like ... Bd5 still allows the queen the e7 square to mate the black king.

C) Finally, what if black declines the bishop sac?

29. Bxf7+ Kh8
30. Qxh5 gxh5
31. Bxh5

Now white is a pawn up with a better position. White should win the resulting endgame. One idea would be to play Bg4 to attack black's d-pawn. Another idea could be to move the king to f2 (and maybe even up the board starting with g3 - g4 etc...) and swing the d1 rook over to h1 to go after the isolated h pawn.

I don't see anything better for white after 29 ... Kh8. Maybe I have missed something. Taking the bishop certainly leads to mate (if I have calculated correctly). Declining the bishop is the best option, but then Rogers has the pleasure of watching Short grind out an endgame win.

My guess is that black does move the king over to h8, and, if so, I am curious to see if I missed some other way to win. If I didn't miss anything, I wonder how Short wins the endgame because I have the feeling that such a position with a pawn up would be fairly straightforward for Short - if it is Nigel that we are talking about.

Jul-02-08  Kasputin: I didn't even think about any of the following because I didn't even think about 33 ... Kh6.

<SuperPatzer77: <dzechiel> <If 31...Kf6 then 32 Qg7+ Kg5 (32...Ke6 Qf7#) 33 Qxe5+ Kh6 34 Qg7+ Kg5 35 Rd5+ Kf4 36 Rxh5 gxh5 37 Kf2 and black can only avoid mate by giving up a rook on b2> After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#

<dzechiel> Isn't it a piece of cake?


Jul-02-08  Googleandchess45: I got the whole solution. Although I didn't bother looking further then Bxh5, figuring it was a won endgame. Suprising since this solution wasn't nessecarily a straight-forward mate.
Jul-02-08  tjshann: The combination that leads to the winning endgame is not too difficult. The question, as someone else alluded to, is the not-always-easy process of winning a won game.
Jul-02-08  234: Tuesday puzzle Jul-01-08 <23. ?> Keres vs V Rootare, 1942
Jul-02-08  Marmot PFL: <After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#>

Yeah, i didn't even get into all this, just assuming that after 31..Kf6 32.Qg7+ Kg5 33.Qx5+ mate would come quickly, but it isn't so simple. Usually Wed. I can see all the lines to mate or decisive material edge but this was tougher.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Marmot PFL> wrote: [snip] Usually Wed. I can see all the lines to mate or decisive material edge but this was tougher. >

I also acknowledge <patzer2> and <SuperPatzer77>: obviously, I could not bring myself to do a Friday's worth of analysis on a Wednesday puzzle ;>)

Jul-02-08  Woody Wood Pusher: well i saw Bxh7 and Rxd7 and was sure a mate was there but didnt see it all. Hopefully in a real game I would.
Jul-02-08  vanytchouck: With no enthousiasm :

29. Bxf7+ Kh8 because

29...Kxf7 30. Rxd7 + Bxd7 (or not) 31. Rxd7 + and the black king is soon dead.

So 29. Bxf7 + Kh8 30. Qxh5 gxh5 31. Bxh5.

I don't see anything better and i wish it wasn't the best line.

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