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Valery Salov vs Jozsef Horvath
EU-ch U20 (1983), Groningen NED, rd 6, Dec-26
Bogo-Indian Defense: Exchange Variation (E11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <52.g5!!> was the winning move with a breakthrough, creating a second passer.

click for larger view

Jul-09-08  tallinn: It is interesting that a small change in the position leads to a draw: if the black rook, white pawn, white rook combo is on the c file white cannot win. The defense b8Q against the black mate threat on h1 is not possible then.

I noticed that by chance as I did set up the position wrong on my computer. Was very puzzled about Fritz evaluating this position to a 0.00.

Jul-09-08  234: Tuesday puzzle Jul-08-08 <52. ?> R Byrne vs Tarjan, 1975
Jul-09-08  zb2cr: I kept asking myself, "Why is this a puzzle? White wins with 58. h8=Q. Black can check twice with the Rook, 58. ... Rb1+; 59. Kh2, Rb2+; 60. Kh3 and Black won't have time--he needs two moves for the mate."

Then I saw that Black could check with 60. ... g4+. Initially I was inclined to write this off, too. Big deal, I told myself, he wins the Queen by a skewer check, but my Rook takes his.

Then I noticed that the Rook check was mate, as Black's f-Pawn cuts off g5. So, after some 2 minutes, I saw the key move 58. Rg8.

Jul-09-08  Marmot PFL: Black threatens Rb1+ Kh2 Rb2+ and if white tries to escape with Kh3 than g4+ Kh4 Rh2 mates. Hence Rg8 to stop g4+ and white is assured of promoting a pawn and winning.
Jul-09-08  Marmot PFL: This is the kind of position I hate to play for black, where white has the better minor piece and keeps advantage even with queens off. The side with the knight has a solid enough position but has trouble finding useful moves and often cracks eventually. Burying the knight on the back rank is almost never good. A good alternative seems 30...g6 and Ng7-e6.
Jul-09-08  SomeoneElse: I really liked this puzzle because it is exactly the kind of situation over-the-board where I usually manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory: "Look he can't perpetually check me with his rook because I'll move Kh3, then I'll have Qxf6+ and victory will be mine!" Making it a puzzle forced me to consider each move more carefully and see black's g4+. A little more effort and finding Rg8 saves the day for white.
Jul-09-08  hamham: Hmm.. Black is threating to draw with a repetition of Rb1+ and Rb2+. If the white king decides to go to h3. g4+ followed by Rh2# is mate.

White needs to find a move that doesn't allow black to force a draw and allows white to promote a pawn.

Rg8 should to the trick. The white king can now go safely to h3. If g4+ Rxg4 should do the trick. And white can promote one of his pawns next move and black can't stop both pawns at the same time.

I hope I'm right, let's check.

Jul-09-08  zooter: Looks to be a good wednesday as majority seemed to have gotten it right
Jul-09-08  YouRang: Rats. The whole point of the puzzle was to see the danger of moving the king up to h3, where g4+ and the f6 pawn (which blocks escape to g5) forces mate.

If you miss that point, then it's hard to see what's wrong with h8=Q, and certainly hard to see the motivation for Rg8!

Anyway, I failed to see it. :-(

Still, it's an excellent puzzle, forcing us to win by thinking defensively.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A surprize wrinkle at the end. I was looking at 58 ♖f8 ♖b1+ 59 ♔h2 ♖b2+ 60 ♔h3 ♖b1 61 ♖xf6+ but I missed the pawn move 60...g4+ 61 ♔h4 ♖h2#.

However,after the text,why not my variation-except I just found this winning clause:

58 ♖g8 ♖b1+ 59 ♔h2 ♖b2+ 60 ♔h3 ♖b1 61 b8=♕ ♖h1+ 62 ♕h2 and wins...

Jul-09-08  Kasputin: It looks bleak for black, but if white simply queens the h pawn on move 58, then black can force a draw by perpetual check. Black may even win the game if white makes a further mistake.

For example.
58. h8=Q Rb1+
59. Kh2 Rb2+
60. Kh3 g4+ and white will get checkmated next move by the rook.

Alternatively, white can avoid the checkmate by not moving the king to h3. But in that case black continues to check back and forth with the rook, resulting in a draw.

Instead white can try 58. Rg8 with the idea that the rook can capture the g pawn if it delivers check to the white king by moving to g4.

For example.
58. Rg8 Rb1+
59. Kh2 Rb2+
60. Kh3 g4+
61. Rxg4 and now if black still tries to checkmate white e.g., by moving ...Rb1, then white can play 62. Rg2 in order to prevent the mate (or 63. Rg3+ might also work or even be better).

Instead if black tries 60 ...Rb1, again with the idea of checkmate, then the following can happen:

58. Rg8 Rb1+
59. Kh2 Rb2+
60. Kh3 Rb1
61. b8=Q Rh1+
62. Qh2 to stop black

Another sneaky try would be to play 60 ...Rb4 instead (aiming for 61 ...Rh4 next move):

58. Rg8 Rb1+
59. Kh2 Rb2+
60. Kh3 Rb4
61. h8=Q now is the correct time to queen this pawn because it prevents 61 ...Rh4. (The only question I have with this particular sequence is if it makes sense to first capture the g pawn with the white rook, e.g., 61. Rxg4 fxg4 and then play 62. h8=Q. But that question can be decided at that time.)

The only other option for black, as far as I can tell, in all of these sequences is to capture the white b7 pawn at some point in any given sequence. But that move - at the cost of a tempo - should allow white the time to queen the h pawn and hang on to win. Also in some of the move orders, if black capture the b7 pawn, then white will have the opportunity to possibly pin the black rook with a new h8 queen by moving to a8 or to check the black king on that same a8 square if the black rook departs from b7. Bringing that white queen out into the open part of the board in that manner could be very important.

Interesting position. Despite two pawns so close to queening, black, because of the situation of the white king and the difficulty that white has in delivering a check to the black king, still has a few tricky resources to try and salvage a half point. I will now check to see if I got this right or not.

Jul-09-08  Sasquatch777: Wonder why black did not play 53...fxg5? Would have prevented the h pawn from getting through, and could have eventually captured it with his King.
Jul-09-08  Kasputin: One of the funny things is that when I thought about the possible 60 ...Rb4 that I almost gave up and thought that 58. Rg8 might be incorrect. Then I saw that white just needs to queen the h pawn. But it wasn't something that jumped out at me right away (maybe it should have). I wonder if anyone (e.g., <dzechiel> or <johnlspouqe> or any one else) thought about 60 ...Rb4 but didn't bother to include it because white's reply is obvious (again it wasn't immediately obvious to me). Just curious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Kasputin> wrote: [snip] I wonder if anyone (e.g., <dzechiel> or <johnlspouqe> or any one else) thought about 60 ...Rb4 but didn't bother to include it because white's reply is obvious (again it wasn't immediately obvious to me). Just curious.>

I have noticed that when calculating, I zero in on quadrants of the board too much. Because I focused on the h1 quadrant, I did not consider 60...Rb4.

You are correct in your implicit assumption that I probably would not write down the variation 60...Rb4. I should have considered it mentally, however. Thanks.

Jul-09-08  Hector Maluy: <Sasquatch777: Wonder why black did not play 53...fxg5? Would have prevented the h pawn from getting through, and could have eventually captured it with his King.>

52)..fxg5 loses to: 53)Rf8+...54)b8=Q

Jul-09-08  yalie: nice puzzle, by elimination hit upon Rg8 to take care of the g4+ check.
Jul-09-08  Jason Frost: Wedensday(Medium/Easy)

Black is threatening perpetual with 58...Rb1+ 59. Kh2 Rb2+ 60 Kg1(60. Kh3?? g4+ 61. Kh4 Rh2 ++)

Thus to win the game white has to stop one of the moves listed

The only move which does this is Rg8 and white wins.

Jul-09-08  tatarch: SomeoneElse-- well said, I am quite sure I would botch this in a blitz game and get mated.

Solid endgame technique in this game-- a good demonstration of why rook and pawn are the hardest, because of all the tactical considerations. Very instructive!

Jul-09-08  Kasputin: <johnlspouge: I have noticed that when calculating, I zero in on quadrants of the board too much. Because I focused on the h1 quadrant, I did not consider 60...Rb4.> I do the same thing. I will also sometimes focus on certain pieces, think about possible moves, possible replies, etc... Then if an unexpected move happens or a new piece enters the fray, it can be quite distracting even if the new move is in reality very easily handled. For example, in this puzzle, like most other kibitzers, I eliminated 58. h8=Q. But just because I mentally eliminated it at this point doesn't mean it never gets to be played - it is afterall a new queen. So when I thought about black playing 60 ...Rb4, queening the h pawn as a reply was off my radar screen. And it took awhile for me to consider this fairly obvious reply.

On a different note, I have to say that I quite like this puzzle from an aesthetic point-of-view. Every piece and every pawn is important in the present position - obviously, this is not always the case in a real game.

Jul-09-08  DarthStapler: Didn't see the g4+
Jul-09-08  dzechiel: <<Kasputin> I wonder if anyone (e.g., <dzechiel> or <johnlspouqe> or any one else) thought about 60 ...Rb4 but didn't bother to include it because white's reply is obvious (again it wasn't immediately obvious to me). Just curious.>

I didn't look at it particularly, as 60...Rb1 seemed like the real threat. Of course 61 h8=Q promotes and defends, much as 61 b8=Q does for 60...Rb1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: An interesting side note to this match is that after the text 53...Rf3+, below, white must be alert and move his king to the g file in order to secure the win.

click for larger view

If 54 Ke1??, black can follow with 54...Re3+. Then, after the king moves (in this example 55 Kd2), then 55...Re7! stops whites pawn advance.

click for larger view

If 54 Ke2, again 54... Re3+ takes away the win.

Jul-09-08  YouRang: <Jimfromprovidence> Very good observation!
Jul-10-08  Kasputin: <dzechiel> and <johnlspouqe> - thanks for the responses.
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