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Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich vs Roy C Ervin
Lone Pine (1975), Lone Pine, CA USA, rd 4, Apr-16
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-05-05  Madman99X: I solved one.

31. Qxh6+! Bxh6 32. Rxh6+ Kg7 33. Nf5#

Two major pieces lined up on the H-file = bad news for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, Shamkovich finds a rather unique three-move mating pattern, starting with 31. Qxh6+!, to exploit Black's weakened castled position.
Sep-05-05  dac1990: In the quest to find exactly where Black went wrong, I analyzed the position with Fritz 8 to find exactly where Black deviated from the rough equality of move 22:

22.Rf3 Kh8

[better is 22...f5!? 23.e5 dxe5 ]

23.Kh1 Qd4 (23 ...Bxb2 could have been better) 24.Rg3 Qxb2

[24...Rg8!? 25.Nc4 Bf8 <25...Qxe4?? 26.Nxd6 <26.Qxf7?! 26...Qd4=> 26...Qxf4 27.Nxf7+ Qxf7 28.Qxf7 > ]

25.Rd1 Rg8

[possibly better is 25...d5!? 26.Nf5 Rg8]

[weaker is 26.Qxf7?! d5 27.Qd7 dxe4=]

26...Qf2 27.Nxd6 Raf8 28.Rg4 Qc2?

[better was 28...Qe2 29.Rh4 Qxh5 30.Rxh5 Bf6 , although white is still winning]

29.Rg1 Qxb3

[29...f5 30.Rh4 h6 31.Qg6 <31.Nxf5?! Rxf5 32.Qxf5 Qxb3 >]

30.Rh4 h6

[30...Bh6 31.Qxh6 Rg7 32.Nf5 Qc3 33.e5 Qxe5 34.fxe5 Rfg8 35.Nxg7 Rxg7 36.Rd1 b3 37.Rd8+ Rg8 38.Qxh7#]

31.Qxh6+! 1-0

[31.Qxh6+! Bxh6 32.Rxh6+ Kg7 33.Nf5#]

Easy to see, and a beautiful mate!

Sep-05-05  snowie1: I liked Nf5. First, black moved his Rg8, then, on 27...the other R and that sealed the sarcophagous, and the Q was no help; chasing pawns & Rs placed her out of range when needed.
Sep-05-05  Averageguy: I quite like the gambit in the spanish with 8.d4 Bg4 9.h3!? It leads to interesting positions when white can often launch an attack.
Sep-05-05  pantlko: easy but intresting one!!!!!!!
Sep-05-05  lentil: i spotted the first move instantly and saw up to Nf5+ but for some reason it took me about 10 min to see that the K could not escape via f6!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I solved this - ho ho ho! In positions like this one is always itching to sac on the h file. Interesting opening by Shamkovich - is the line he played considered a good one by the cognoscenti?
Sep-05-05  EmperorAtahualpa: Doh...!
Sep-05-05  Halldor: Beautiful mate! The knight playing a double role.
Sep-05-05  Happypuppet: Nf5 was my first consideration, but Qe6 made things difficult. Wouldn't be Monday if you had to deal with that, so I just tried the only forcing move in the position. Forced mate.

Not only am I solving positions knowing that there is very likely a win, I'm taking advantage of the expected difficulty to do it. This is sure going to improve my chess a lot.

Sep-05-05  grook: A lot of arsenal lined up in the direction of the King and all Black can do is play 29...Qxb3? I'd say White was lucky in this game.
Sep-05-05  Happypuppet: Indeed, a move like 29... Qe2 would prevent the rook from moving, or else a queen trade occurs. I also love the dense positioning of Black's pieces around the king. A little too together now, are we?
Sep-05-05  dac1990: Also, 31.♘f5?! ♕e6 32.♘xg7 ♖xg7 33.f5 ♕f6 34.e5 ♕g5 35.♕xh6+ ♕xh6 36.♖xh6+ ♖h7 37.♖xc6 only wins a pawn for White, and the game is far from over. Much less powerful than mate in three.
Sep-05-05  onyok: would 30 ... Bh6 and 31 ... Rg7 save black and probably have a fighting chance because of its queen pawns ? probably not.. but that's what I would have done instead of getting mated.
Sep-05-05  Boomie: In the Fritz opening book, this is described as the Archangelsk and Moller Defense. After 10. ♕g3, Fritz prefers ♔f8. There are only 7 games in the Fritz database with this position but they include some notable names. Tal was the first to play 10. ♕g3. See Tal vs Teschner, 1957.
Sep-05-05  fgh: Ridiculously easy.
Sep-05-05  EmperorAtahualpa: For puzzles like these, they should invent a day between Sundays and Mondays.... :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <dac1990> Perhaps Black needs to go back to the opening and reconsider 5...b5. There's a reason 5...Be7 is played 8 times as often by Masters and is the overwhelming preference of GMs. Black needs to be concentrating on development and center control this early in the Opening, and 5...Be7 IMHO is more to the point.

However, I don't won't to overstate the case either, as 5...b5 has been used by super GMs and may well be a sound drawing weapon. In BCO, Keene and Kasparov label it the Archangelsk variation, and indicate it should qualize. Yet, I think most Masters believe Black has better chances with 5...Be7.

Who was it that said "play what the GMs play and not what they recommend?" If nothing else, 5...Be7 leaves open the possibility of playing the Marshall attack as Black and putting pressure on White to defend.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the sac but missed the beautiful mate by the white knight after ♔g7.

I went for the immediate ♘f5 which allows black to stop the mate.

Sep-07-05  JohnBoy: Anyone know what ever happened to Roy Ervin? He was often brilliant at the board, but a terribly troubled man. Tried to cut his nose off with a pair of scissors and ended up spending lots of time in a mental hospital. It was always interesting when he would get leave for a weekend to come to a SoCal tournament.
Oct-27-05  BabyJ: 23 Kh2! As it is, I can't quite get
25 Rxg7 to work against 24...Qxe4,
since the g-pawn is pinned at the
Oct-27-05  BabyJ: Suprisingly, just Kh2! at the end
has a nice beat. Queen and some
pawns for the rooks. But White's
losing all his good pawns tho, and
exposing his King. 24...Qxe4 25 Rxg7
Kxg7 26 Nf5+ Kf6 27 Qh6+ Kxf5
28 Kh2. I don't like it that much...
Oct-27-05  trolls: You kno, for the life of me, I
just cannot see what SHAM-KROTCH-
KICK had after 24...Qxe4!
Oct-27-05  trolls: And look at that. Evidently the Baby
was doing the above in his head since
at the end there 28...Qxf4 is actually CHECK! - I just checked this on Freebase. Freeballin'...Yeah.
So I don't know, man. Taking that
central pawn seems to do a lot.
search thread:   
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