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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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Jul-09-08  MostlyAverageJoe: I could swear I've seen this puzzle before, but there's no kibitzing, so I guess not ...
Jul-09-08  beginner64: Got it immediately, as Rg8 is the only move that can break the dual threats of draw by repetition or the mate on the h file.

It is key to note that after Kh3, g4+, Rxg4 can then win the game for white.

Jul-09-08  AccDrag: Yeah, this is too easy for a Wednesday, I would think. White has almost no options to begin with, and once you see the threat of perpetual or mate, it's clear what White has to do.
Jul-09-08  dzechiel: White to move (58?). Material even. "Medium/Easy."

I have either seen this position before, or seen one very similar to it.

Of course white can't play the obvious 58 h8=Q because black will get a draw with 58...Rb1+ 59 Kh2 Rb2+. White can't play 60 Kh3 because 60...g4+ 61 Kh4 Rh2#.

It appears to me that white first needs to play

58 Rg8

Now the threats are 59 b8=Q and 59 h8=Q. Black can try

58...Rb1+ 59 Kh2 Rb2+ 60 Kh3

Now 60...g4+ is met with 61 Rxg4. Black has one more try...


If now 61 h8=Q black gets in 61...Rh1#. But white is prepared and instead plays

61 b8=Q Rh1+ 62 Qh2

and it's all over but the shouting.

Time to check.

Jul-09-08  Gouki: cant black draw with the line:

58...♖b1+ 59.♔h2 ♖b2+?

and if 60.♔h3 ♖b1 threatening mate with 61...♖h1

and if 60.♔h1 (or ♔g1), black just checks white again and thus draw by repetition?

Jul-09-08  dzechiel: <<MostlyAverageJoe>: I could swear I've seen this puzzle before, but there's no kibitzing, so I guess not ...>

I had the very same feeling, but I think in the previous position it was black to move. I'm sure someone out there will manage to find it.

Jul-09-08  Gouki: oh, I just saw <dzechiel> posts right after i made mine :D

thanks for the line :)

Jul-09-08  Funicular: Yeah i saw it almost immediately as well. I mean, instead of thinking what white should do, i figured, if black was to play, Rb1+, Rb2+ and then its either draw or g4 checkmates. So what can i do as white to prevent g4 from mating me? :P thats how i got it. Yeah, its easy for a wednesday :)
Jul-09-08  ChessPraxis: Truly a defensive combination.
Jul-09-08  TrueBlue: don't you just hate when you solve a puzzle, start feeling good about your self, and then everybody tells you how easy it was. Granted, Rg8 is the only move that wins, but finding it is still far from obvious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Wednesday (Medium/Easy): White to play and win.

Material: Even. White can play 58.h8=Q, but Black has a trap.

58.h8=Q Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+ 60.Kh3

[60.Kh1 or 61.Kh2 lead to repetition, because Black shuttles with Rb1+ and Rb2+]

Black has 2 swindles to avoid loss.

(1) 60g4+ 61.Kh4 Rh2#.

(2) 60Rb1 (threatening 61Rh1#)

and White must repeat with 61.Kh2 to avoid mate. White must foil the swindles before playing h8=Q.

Candidates (58.): Rg8 (to remove swindle 1)

58.Rg8 Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+ 60.Kh3 Rb1 61. b8=Q Rh1+ 62.Qh2 g4+ 63.Rxg4 Rxh2 64.Kxh2

White gives up his Q+R for R to prevent mate and repetition, but Black is helpless against the second Q after h8=Q.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Well, I stayed up beyond my bedtime again, but unfortunately, I had not seen this position before.

G'night, all :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: It seems to me that white could have won more easily by just playing 54. Ke2, eliminating the mate threat (and today's puzzle).
Jul-09-08  pinoywoodpusher: <<Gouki>: cant black draw with the line:

58...Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+?

and if 60.Kh3 Rb1 threatening mate with 61...Rh1

and if 60.Kh1 (or Kg1), black just checks white again and thus draw by repetition?>

No draw coz after 60 Rb1 b8(Q or B) 61 Rh1 (Qh2 or Bh2) etc... White will lose the (Q or B) and R but the h-pawn will soon Q so 1-0.

Jul-09-08  zooter: By a process of elimination, i think 58.Rg8 has to be the winning move for white.

Off course 58.h8=Q draws by 58...Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+ 60.Kg1 (60.Kh3 g5+ 61.Kh4 Rh2#)

So, it looks like stopping the g5 check is important

Now after

58.Rg8 Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+ 60.Kh3 there is no longer 60...g5+ as white's rook is on the g-file

Similarly there are 2 white pawns on the 7th rank and hence one of them should queen.

Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Wednesday puzzle solution, 58. Rg8! forces Black's resignation with an impressive display of endgame tactics.

See <dzechiel>'s and <johnlspouqe>'s posts for an explanation of how this clever move assures White's victory by spoiling Black's mate and perpetual check traps.

Jul-09-08  zooter: I didn't see the line pointed out by <dzechiel> 58.Rg8 Rb1+ 59.Kh2 Rb2+ 60.Kh3 Rb1

but since there are 2 paws on the 7th rank (b8=Q) should win and I'll take the point since I would have seen this OTB

Jul-09-08  MiCrooks: I think this is reasonably easy, but it's supposed to be :)! Thought process like this:

Why can't White just Queen the pawn?

It actually took me a second to go through the various options and see that Kh3 was impossible due to g4+ mating (other trys like Kf3 fail to Qxf6+ but one is all you need). You knew it had to be there otherwise it wouldn't be a puzzle - just queen the pawn!

Once you see the key line contains g4+ all that remains is preventing it. With two pawns on the seventh one is assured of queening. So Rg8 is the obvious, and only move that avoids the draw by repetition.

Personally, I think this is a pretty reasonable level of difficulty for a Wednesday. It's not supposed to be ALL that hard. It took me longer to work through than Mon or Tues!

Jul-09-08  zenpharaohs: I got really confused since I didn't see black's mate possibility and couldn't get past h8Q?

I wonder how Horvath tried to sell the swindle over the board?

Jul-09-08  beginner64: <al wazir: It seems to me that white could have won more easily by just playing 54. Ke2, eliminating the mate threat (and today's puzzle).>

Well. 54. Ke2 Re3+ 55. Kd2 Re7.

After that, white can probably try Rf8 with a strong end game but I don't see a forced ending.

Jul-09-08  TheaN: 3/3

A puzzle to object of elimation, it seems:

- White is winning, as the h-pawn is free to promote.

- He is only facing a mate threat, which in the current position can only be stopped by allowing repetition instead.

- So before promoting the mate threat should be removed, only to promote later.

It's not that hard after the elimination. It's stops the only one-time check which is g4.




And repetition.


Although resignable at this point, Black might try another mate threat.



Safely retreating now. Or is he?



As stated, and Black gains nothing from the check.

Take note that b8=B wins too, but not superior to the Queen here. Certainly not because of potentially:


Ghello from the new Queen.

Truly, at this point there's nothing else.

And mate in a few, with even the unnecessary h8=Q aiding the Rook.

Jul-09-08  TheaN: Oh, looks like I've not been thorougly nice for Black here. As <johnlspouge> illustrates, Black might drag the g8-Rook down with the new Queen at move 62:

Of course delays Rxh2+ effectively. Nonetheless, now it IS the h-pawn that makes the difference.



Yar. Still very unpleasant.






Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <beginner64: 54. Ke2 Re3+ 55. Kd2 Re7>. You're obviously right. But it wasn't obvious to me before you pointed it out. Thanks.

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.

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