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Edvins Kengis vs Alexander Shabalov
Jurmala (1985), Jurmala URS, rd 5, Sep-03
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-29-20  Delboy: 28. Rxc6 is an instructive combination that forces black's queen off its defensive position on e6. In the final position: i) 30. ... Kf8 31. Qd8# ii) 30. ... Kh7 31. Qh6+ Kg8 32. Qg7# iii) 30. ... Kg8 31. Ne7+ and 32. Nxd5. Had black played 28. ... Qxc6 then 29. Nf5+ Kf8 30. Qe7+ Kg8 31. e6 looks crushing
Feb-17-22  Brenin: 28 Rxc6 Rxc6 (28 ... Qxc6 29 Nf5+ Kf8 30 Qe7+ Kg8 31 e6 looks dreadful for Black) 29 Bxd5 Qxd5 (29 ... Rxh6 30 Bxd5 Rxh6 31 Bxe6 Rxe6 better?) 30 Nf5+ Kg8 (30 ... Kh7 31 Qh6+ Kg8 32 Qg7 mate or 30 ... Kf8 31 Qd8 mate) 31 Ne7+ and 32 Nxd5.
Feb-17-22  TheaN: Not much to add to the posts above, except that it took me way to long to see 30....Kf8 31.Qd8#. It's somewhat obscure given it's not a threat on the puzzle move, and Rc8 is defending it.
Feb-17-22  Brenin: <TheaN>: Like you, I took a long time see Qc8 mate, so this seemed hard for a Thursday. I missed Black's try for a cheap swindle with 29 ... Nxe5 30 Bxe6?? Nf3+ and 31 ... Nxg5; instead, 30 Rxe5 wins for White.
Feb-17-22  latebishop: A chess engine gave 29...Qh3, when the win was a much tougher prospect, though I managed it in the end.
Feb-17-22  mel gibson: I didn't see this one.
It looks obvious after being shown
but requires seeing many moves ahead.

Stockfish 14 says:

28. Rxc6

(28. Rxc6 (♖c1xc6 ♖c8xc6 ♗g2xd5 ♖h8xh6
♗d5xe6 ♖c6xe6 f2-f4 a7-a5 b4-b5 ♖h6-h5 ♕g5-d8 ♘d7-c5 g3-g4 ♘c5-b7 ♕d8-d4 ♖h5-h4 ♔g1-g2 ♘b7-c5 h2-h3 ♘c5-b7 ♖e1-f1 ♖h4-h6 ♖f1-f3 ♖e6-e8 e5-e6+ ♔g7-f8 f4-f5 g6xf5 g4xf5 ♖e8xe6 f5xe6 ♖h6xe6 ♕d4-d7 ♖e6-g6+ ♖f3-g3 ♘b7-c5 ♕d7-d8+ ♔f8-g7 ♖g3xg6+ ♔g7xg6 ♕d8xb6+ ♘c5-e6 ♕b6xe6+ f7xe6 ♔g2-f3 ♔g6-g5 b5-b6 ♔g5-f6 ♔f3-f4 ♔f6-e7 b6-b7 a5-a4 ♔f4-e5 ♔e7-d7 b7-b8♕) +8.00/36 782)

score for White +8.00 depth 36.

Feb-17-22  Refused: Found that one with relative ease I must say.
First thoughts centered around drawing the Queen away from e6 to crash into blacks king position with e5-e6 and Nxf7 ideas. Could make that work, as moves like 28.Bh3 Qxh3 are too slow and white ends up getting slaughtered.

Second idea was around Nf5+ ideas from there it all fell into place, for that to work the queen has to move again, thus Bxd5, for that to work the Bishop has to go. Thus:

28.Rxc6!! Rxc6 (Qxc6 29.Nf5+ Kf8 30.Qe7+ Kg7 31.Nd6 Rf8/h7 32.e6 and this absolutely bust) 29.Bxd5! Qxd5 30.Nf5+ and it's all over

a)30...Kh7 31.Qh6+ Kg8 32.Qg7#
b)30...Kf8 31.Qd8# (admittedly here I briefly saw spectre and thought 31...Qe8 was possible, but that Queen had sailed) c)30...Kg8 31.Qd8+ Nf8 32.Qxd5 +-

Arghs totally missed 29...Qh3 no Thursday cookie for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn up.

The black queen prevents Nf5+. This suggests 28.Rxc6:

A) 28... Qxc6 29.Nf5+ Kf8 (29... Kh7 30.Qh6+ Kg8 31.Qg7# or 31.Ne7#; 29... Kg8 30.Ne7+ and 31.Nxc6 wins decisive material) 30.Qe7+ Kg8 31.e6

A.1) 31... fxe6 32.Qg7#.

A.2) 31... gxf5 32.Qxf7#.

A.3) 31... Rf8 32.exf7+ Rxf7 (32... Kh7 33.Qh4#) 33.Qe8+ Rf8 (33... Nf8 34.Qxc6 wins decisive material; 33... Kh7 34.Qxf7#) 34.Ne7+ Kg7 35.Qxf8+ and 36.Nxc6 wins a piece.

A.4) 31... Ne5 32.Rxe5 Qc1+ 33.Bf1 Rf8 34.exf7+ Rxf7 (34... Kh7 35.Qh4+ Qh6 36.Qxh6#) 35.Qe8+ Rf8 36.Qxg6#.

B) 28... Rxc6 29.Bxd5

B.1) 29... Qxd5 30.Nf5+ Kg8 (30... Kh7 as above; 30... Kf8 31.Qd8#) 31.Ne7+ and 32.Nxd5 wins decisive material.

B.2) 29... Qh3

B.2.a) 30.Bxc6 Rxh6 (due to Ng4; 30... Qxh6 31.Qxh6+ and 32.Bxd7 wins a piece) 31.Bxd7 Qxh2+ (31... Qxd7 32.Qf6+ and 33.e6 with two extra pawns and the better position) 32.Kf1 Qh1+ 33.Ke2 Qe4+ 34.Qe3 Qc4+ 35.Kd1 (35.Kf3 Qd5+ and 36... Qxd7) 35... Qd3+ 36.Qd2 Qb1+ is not satisfactory for White.

B.2.b) 30.Nf5+

B.2.b.i) 30... Qxf5 31.Qxf5 gxf5 32.Bxc6 + - [B+2P vs n].

B.2.b.ii) 30... Kh7 31.Bxc6 gxf5 32.Bxd7 wins decisive material.

B.2.b.iii) 30... Kg8 31.Ne7+ Kg7 32.Bxc6 wins decisive material.

B.2.b.iv) 30... Kf8 31.Qd8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Missed yesterday's, so I'm relieved to get this after speding some time thinking. Realised the key was to get the BQ away from defense of c5, as B would then have no answer to Nc5+
Feb-17-22  saturn2: The Nh6 is under attack and if it moves black has Rh5. Immediate Nf5 is not possible. This puzzle took me some time. Some other candidates were Ng4, Nxf7 followed by e6, b5, Bxd5 etc some failing for the forrmentioned reasons.

When I finally looked at 28.Rxc6 I knew it has to be the right one. 28...Rxc6 (...Qxc6 29.Nf5+ Kf8 30.Qe7+ Kg8 31.e6) 29.Bxd5 Qxd5 30. Nf5+ Kf8 31.Qd8

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Lash it i ve born Rxc6 flush abridge axled it i v again sign it i v lash it i ve bourne cog gm lhasa v it i v ban born ie key quirk quiff fed pet it i v put july it woz can u gm liers hobbled it i v ko way sake alimony it i v c carafes it i efface it i v scarf dank and dusty it i vet gotcha feel had hind hog ago vin v jag co icc it i v i si aggregate vin qigong aghast knight adept ron rat ie ins gank hats hi vin monk dt boa ta jz edit i v buff it zilch v sh hi affix a piano cuffed it i v dt lent plonk hold lid cfo bfg it i v ay c never cib ago fog quiff gal ho blush info dub hoof au ms ice it hog clobber bade it i v shh fag cd dane it i v bare it fx evict heil lag cg need it flick vid c feed it i v buds dine it i v kind safe it i v dig c fens cd ex hire it i v bad c a sac bade it i v hut flog hot dr bet flack drank cuff dud ice it's vend g sink bend cv it i v cd gank snide it i v sing it i key gen kissed it i vin red it axe lan v bash lo vita vin balls it ah o van dare x dean rex la it i v lab sha vito vin tn ke c yuk her mr lost sol tal ready he vin i dt it ward no us do kut cryptic Rxc6 it ear;
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: < Arghs totally missed 29...Qh3 no Thursday cookie for me. > Missed that move too, but since the game didn't take that line I think our Thursday cookies are intact. Had the game gone in that more complex direction, this might have been a Saturday puzzle.
Feb-17-22  TheaN: <latebishop: A chess engine gave 29...Qh3, when the win was a much tougher prospect, though I managed it in the end.>

Interesting. A somewhat unique variation where Black simply avoids the central complication and asks White how he intends to continue.

It's not <that> tough though.

30.Nf5+ actually wins, as 30....Kf8 31.Qd8#, 30....Kg8 31.Bxf7+! +- and 30....Qxf5 31.Qxf5 gxf5 32.Bxc6 +- shows the problem with the in between move by Black.

Perhaps a bit more consistent would be 30.Qe7 +- threatening Qxf7+, yet White would have to be content with allowing an eventual Qxh2+, ie 30....Kxh6 (Rcc8) 31.Bxc6 Kg7 32.e6! Qxh2+ 33.Kf1 Qh3 34.Bg2 +-

However, easiest is <30.Ng4 +->, where White just retreats the piece that's in, traps the queen and is on his merry way to continue the attack.

Feb-17-22  landshark: At first I couldn't spot anything that resembled a forced win here -

Then I started out looking at defensive resources because of the N hanging on h6 - saw that if I retreated it to g4 then ...Rh5 looked pretty good for Black.

Then I began to see the mating patterns possible if the N could retreat to f5 instead - giving check, and that if the Q were required to recapture on d5 if I took that with my B, that things might work out quite nicely...

So I looked to see if there were any forcing moves that could help with that - and found that Rxc6 was perfect for the job. The rest was easy.

Feb-17-22  landshark: I missed 29... Qh3.
In the complications after that W comes out better, but the win still needs to be proven -

I'll give myself a 1/2 solve today...

Feb-17-22  King.Arthur.Brazil: It is unbelievable that although chose the right piece, the supposedly defensive move is in reality a suiciding one. Maybe, playing 27...♖fe8 28. ♖xc6 ♖xc6 29. ♗xd5 ♕xd5 30. ♘f5+ ♔g8 Black would survive, since White in such a case, had nothing better the draw by perpetual checks with 31.♘h6+ ... 32.♘f5+. Black couldn't answer any 25...♔f8 or 25...♔h8 due to the obvious check mate with 26. ♕h6+... 27.♕g7#. Today, I'm ill, then my thoughs are a little disperse. Sorry, if I fail to see something else.
Feb-17-22  King.Arthur.Brazil: After <raymondhow> and others suggested 29...♕h3, the King (me, of course) propose the line 30. ♗xc6 ♖xh6 31. ♖d1 ♕xh2+ 32. ♔f1 ♕h3+ 33. ♔e1! Black has no good retreat to the ♘d7. For example, after the natural 33...♘f8 then 34. ♕f6+ ♔g8 35. ♖d8 ♕e6 36. ♕f4 ♖h8 37. ♗d5 ♕e7 38. ♕d4. White has attack but today I don't feel good to continue calculations. Good luck for you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: Here's how I see it. Our puzzle maker intended a Thursday level puzzle, which this appears to be from the game line. He didn't see it was actually rather tougher, due to 29... Qh3. Our "job" is to find the best move answers to what we are presented, and when we do that we deserve full credit. I like to think I would have found the tougher win as well, but I didn't get the chance because GM Shabalov missed the toughest defense. Had he played 29... Qh3, this might have been a Saturday puzzle instead.

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