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Leonid Shamkovich vs A Anguiano
"Sacrifices Out of Nowhere" (game of the day Sep-18-2018)
Mexico City (1978)
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D63)  ·  1-0



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Dec-25-11  rilkefan: <<Once>:If this was cooked back in 2004, why are we getting it as a puzzle again?>

It's the War on Christmas in America you may have read about.

Dec-25-11  Marmot PFL: I was looking at Nxf7, or Bxe6 followed by Qxg6 and Bxh6, rather than Bxh6 right away. Declining the bishop sac with c5 is one reason I preferred the others but they seem to just fall short.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <Once> wrote: I've had Fritz chewing on it for nearly four hours. It's a level game after 15. Bxh6 c5. The most that Fritzie can find is = 0.20. >

Toga 3.1 concurs. After 1 hour, Toga evaluates the position at 0.21 P with 19 plies.

Dec-25-11  James D Flynn: I never considered 15.Bxh6 the sacs on e6 and f7 looked obvious. I started with 15.Bxe6 f7xe6 16.Q6 when Rf8 loses to Bxh6 and the B on e7 is threatened. The reply Nxe5 looks best although Bf8 is also possible. 16.....Nxe5 17.d4xe5 Ne8 18.Qxe6ch Kf8 and white can draw with Qf5ch but 19.Bxh6 c5 leads to exchanges where white has 4 pawns for a piece with a very unclear ending. Therefore I tried 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 if Qf5 Nf8 holds everything so 16.Bxe6ch Kxe6 17.Qg6 Nf8 18.Qxg7 Kd7 19.e4 Re8 20.e5 Nf6)h7 21.Rd1 R{h)d8 22.d5 Kc8 23.d6 Bg5 24.Nd5 Qa5 25.b4 Rd7 26.Qxd7ch Kxd7 27.b4xa5 c6xd5 28.Bxg5 Nxg5 29.Rc7ch Kd8 30.Rxb7 and white will win this ending easily. Obviously there are a myriad of other possible continuations but black will have to give back at least one of his 2 extra pieces with the white rooks and central pawns chasing his K and will remain down many pawns.
Dec-25-11  Patriot: Material is even.

If an assault exists, black may be threatening to neutralize it with 15...Nxe5.

The first move I want to try is 15.Nxf7. 15...Kxf7 16.Bxe6+ Kxe6 17.Qb3+ Nd5 18.e4 is getting something back but not enough. Also, 17.Qg6 looks dangerous but does not look like white will get enough compensation.

The next candidate I want to try is 15.Bxe6. 15...fxe6 16.Qg6. This is starting to look good since it already threatens to win a piece back (with material gains) by 17.Qf7+ and 18.Qxe7, or 17.Bxh6 threatening mate or at least eroding away black's defense shield. 16...Nxe5 needs to be considered in which case white can re-capture with 17.dxe5 hitting the f6-knight while threatening 18.Bxh6.

Another candidate is 15.Bxh6. The idea is 15...gxh6 16.Bxe6 fxe6 17.Qg6+ and mate next. And if 15...Nxe5 16.dxe5 white is doing well. If 15...Bf8, 16.Bxe6 may still be playable. 16...gxh6 17.Qg6+ Kh8 18.Nf7#. Or 16...fxe6 17.Qg6 threatening 18.Qf7+ Kh7 19.Ng6!.

Another possibility is 15.Ng6 fxg6 16.Qxg6 (16.Bxe6+ Kh7 looks like a stronger defense for black) 16...Nf8 hits the queen and defends e6. This seems like the weakest of candidates.

This is difficult to assess which candidate is best. I would say it's a toss up between 15.Bxe6 and 15.Bxh6. One thing about 15.Bxh6 is black could defend better with 15...c5. This gives up a pawn for nothing but when comparing candidates it becomes important to consider each defense. This is why I like 15.Bxe6 better. 15...fxe6 16.Qg6 or 16.Bxh6 right away.

That's all I'm going to do on this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: If this puzzle position were a Christmas turkey, Mom would be sticking a thermometer where the sun doesn't shine and saying "hmmm .... looks like it needs a little longer in the oven."

In a real game, most of us would take a half-hearted look at the various sacs, decide that nothing was quite ready and play something like 15. Rfd1 on general principles.

And if we did we would would miss the "brilliancy" of 15. Bxh6 which ought not to work but did.

And I suppose that's the story of life. We can rarely know the consequences of the decisions we didn't take. That blonde I didn't ask out on a date. The book I didn't write. The long-lost cousin I didn't phone. The search engine called Google that I didn't invent.

<Once> upon a time I was offered a choice between two jobs. The one I chose introduced me to the Mem and several good people who have become lifelong friends. And from that came my next job and my next. The town where I live, my son, a large chunk of my personality...

Think further back and I remember as a youngster being ill with chicken pox and running out of things to read. Flicking idly through the family bookshelves I came across our one and only chess book - "Logical Chess by Irving Chernev". I picked it up and started to read. Taught myself to play from that book. And that one decision has brought me here - via a few twists and turns.

But to think that I might have picked up a different book instead. And then we might be having this conversation on a backgammon site instead. If such things exist.

Of course, you might argue that if Shamkovich hadn't played 15. Bxh6 in 1978, we wouldn't be thinking these thoughts right now. Who knows what will change as a result?

A butterfly flaps its wings ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even.

Four white pieces aim at the black castle. This suggests 15.Bxh6:

A) 15... gxh6 16.Bxe6

A.1) 16... fxe6 17.Qg6+ and mate next.

A.2) 16... Nxe5 17.dxe5

A.2.a) 17... fxe6 18.Qg6+

A.2.a.i) 18... Kh8 19.exf6 Bf8 (19... Rg8 20.Qxh6#; 19... Bxf6 20.Qxh6+ Kg8 21.Qxf6 + - [N+2P vs B]) 20.f7 Bg7 21.Ne4 with the threats 22.Nf6 Bxf6 23.Qxh6# and 22.Ng5 hxg5 23.Qh5+ Bh6 24.Qxh6#.

A.2.a.ii) 18... Kf8 19.exf6 Bxf6 (19... Bd6 20.Qg7+ Ke8 21.f7+ Kd7 22.f8=Q+; 19... Qc7 20.Qxh6+ Ke8 21.fxe7 Qxe7 22.Ne4 + - [N+2P vs B]) 20.Qxf6+ Ke8 21.Qxe6+ Kf8 22.Qxh6+ + - [N+3P vs B].

A.2.b) 17... Ne8 18.Qg6+ Ng7 (18... Kf8 19.Qxf7#; 18... Kh8 19.Bxf7 Nef6 20.exf6 Nxf6 21.Qxh6+ Nh7 22.Bg6) 19.Bxf7+ Kf8 (19... Kh8 20.Qxh6#) 20.Ba2 + -.

A.2.c) 17... Kg7 18.exf6+ Bxf6 19.Ba2 + - [N+2P vs B].

A.3) 16... Nf8 17.Bxf7+ Kg7 18.Ne2 with 3 pawns for the bishop and attack (threatens 19.Ng3 and 20.Nf5+).

B) 15... Nxe5 16.dxe5 Ng4 17.Bf4 and White is a pawn ahead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Icicle one cometh atchoo
Skeleton Aguino good rock flew
15.Bxh6 only it is prune
C5 dip in grateful brew
State case won gxh6 ah open soon
Having enough ayes cry queen smooth?

Isnt it propelling lug h6 up in effect it finding enough for bxe6 it ok but nxe5 and ndup5 is not exactly on e5 club bishop e6 allo ground in experience again check it finish nagging together it feint in picking queen sweat in same it her example on energy it sub in vale green course in felled again let saga fate decree king in exposed it rook across deliver g6 draw down in camp it up tease for free knight in e5 less on slide canine instinct gxh6 would any defence in fit hold game e6 too chasm it each ele d8 black ph a rotar g6 plug in wash out under it express in eg c5 roll?

Jesus the reason for the season!

Dec-25-11  scormus: Like others I was a little surprised at the "!" on 15 Bxh6. And completely surprised at the annotation on move 17

I thought about 15 Nxf7, Bxe6 and Bxh6 was more likely but I confess I couldnt see how W could force the win with any of them. Seemed to me that B had too many defensive options.

A few minutes of Rybka confirms 15 Bxh6 c5 as giving a very modest adv to W.

FWIW I prefer the Xmas GOTD to the POTD

Dec-25-11  ajile: It was a good gamble that paid off. Worse case scenario Black finds 15..c5 and even if he does he still is slightly worse. But if he doesn't find c5 then his goose is cooked.

In real life what percentage of chess players would find 15..c5 over the board in a tournament situation?

Dec-25-11  sevenseaman: <ajile: It was a good gamble that paid off. Worse case scenario Black finds 15..c5 and even if he does he still is slightly worse. But if he doesn't find c5 then his goose is cooked.

In real life what percentage of chess players would find 15..c5 over the board in a tournament situation?>

I like your balanced view and fully concur with it. After <15. Bxh6> only a computer will find <15...c5> OTB it would be a fairy tale/Einstein genius move to find.

Normal chess people including GMs failed to find this refutation. It has only come up after hours of engine analysis that fault-finding has to invariably resort to.

So I fairly appreciate the continuation found OTB by <Shamkovich>. Even if it is not 'immaculate', its nothing to be sneered at.

I will nevertheless endorse <scormus>'s view that the GOTD was better than the POTD. It was, by a distance.

I liked <morfishine>'s daring, joyful, 'Holiday mood' stab at the POTD. Using his basic rollicking idea, I have developed his line further with a deviation at a later stage. My earlier comment missed a move inadvertently (typo). Here it is again;

<<15 Nxf7 Kxf7 16.Bxe6+ Kxe6 17.Qb3+ Nd5 18.e4 Nf6 19.exd5+ Nxd5 <my deviation> <20. Nxd5 cxd5 21. Rfe1+ Kd7 22. Qh3+ Ke8 23. Rc7(threatens Rexe7+) Qxc7 24. Bxc7 Rd7 25. Qh5+>>

Its quite a fun position. May be someone is able to bring it to a happy ending.

Dec-25-11  vajeer: What about 15...Nxe5?
Dec-25-11  abuzic: On <15.Nxf7?>
15.Nxf7 Kxf7 16.Bxe6+ Kxe6 17.Qb3+ Nd5 18.e4 N7f6 19.exd5+ Nxd5 20.Nxd5 cxd5? <20...Rxd5!> 21.Rfe1+ <21.Bc7!> Kd7? 22.Rc7+ Qxc7 <22...Ke8 23.Ree7+ Kf8 24.Rf7+ Kg8 25.Rxg7+ Kf8 <25...Kh8 26.Qd3> 26.Rcf7+ Ke8 27.Qe3+ Qe6 28.Qxe6#> 23.Qh3+ Ke8 <23...Kc6 24.Qc3+> 24.Bxc7. Happy ending?
Dec-25-11  stst: Short line:
15.Bxe6 fxe6
16.Qg6 Rf8
17.Bxh6 if (a)..Rf7
18.Qxf7 Kh8
if 17...(b)Nxf5, 18.Qxg7#

15.Bxe6 Nxe5
16.dxe5 fxe6
17.exf6 Bxf6
18.Qg6 Re7
19.Bxh6 Kh8
IF(A)... Kf8, 20.Qxf6+ etc
IF(B)....Qx7, 20.Ne4 Rf7, 21.Rfd1 Rad1
22.Nc5 Rxd1, 23.Rxd1 Qe7, 24.Rd7 Qe8
25.Bxg7 Bc7, 26.Bxf6 dis+ Kf8
27.Rd8 and Bk loses its Q

..quite a typing exercise for Xmas?!

Dec-25-11  stst: OK, just like the Lotto (Mega$$$) it's always the other line!!

Still good for the X'mas dream, it grows to beyond $200MM

Dec-25-11  stst: <Once> Agreed, there is no win for White after 15...c5. Why are we getting this puzzle again?


Simple: They put this up some time ago, maybe in a hurry, so that they got the holidays early!!

Dec-25-11  stst: <it becomes important to consider each defense. This is why I like 15.Bxe6 better. 15...fxe6 16.Qg6 or 16.Bxh6 right away..>

Yeah, finally some agree with, me!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The bishop sacs make this one a real Christmas treat...
Jan-23-17  Albion 1959: Move 8 Re8 does not look right here, it leaves f7 undefended. It would be okay if black had followed up with Nf8 and Ng6, but instead black played the weakening h6?! which is almost inviting a sacrifice on h6. Move 14 Red8?! leaves e6 under protected, surely Rad8 was more consistent? I suspect that black overlooked Bxe6! Finally, 17 Nd5?? loses at once, the best defence was Kg7! Keeping the white queen out of g6, for example: 17 dxe Kg7!
18 exf+ Bf6
19 Ba2 c5
Black is a pawn down, has a weakened kingside, but has avoided a quick knock out and is still on the board and does have the bishop pair as some small measure of compensation. An interesting little miniature!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < rilkefan: <<Once>:If this was cooked back in 2004, why are we getting it as a puzzle again?>

It's the War on Christmas in America you may have read about.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  BAJones: Only had a quick look at this, but it seems to me that the moves 13...Qb6 (inconsequential) and 14...Red8 (too slow, and loss of tempi, as the piece has already moved), are suspect. Black would have done better to immediately remove the White Knight with 14...Nxe5. Any views, anyone?
Sep-18-18  JohnBoy: < rilkefan: <<Once>:If this was cooked back in 2004, why are we getting it as a puzzle again?> It's the War on Christmas in America you may have read about.>

I blame Soros.

Sep-18-18  Mendrys: A computer's best move may be something like

17. Ne2 (+.20)

as an example but 17. Bxh6! is the right "people" move to make.

Finding a refutation that doesn't start with 15...gxh6 is difficult for almost any human and as best play by black leads to equality Bxh6! is certainly the best move for a human.

Sep-18-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 25 dpa

1. = (0.08): 10...Nh5 11.Be2 Nxf4 12.exf4 dxc4 13.Bxc4 b5 14.Be2 b4 15.axb4 Rb8 16.0-0 Rxb4 17.Rfd1 Qc7 18.Na2 Rb6 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.dxe5 Bb7 21.Bd3 Rb8 22.Rb1 Kh8 23.Be4 Ba6 24.h3 Qb7 25.b4 Bb5

2. + / = (0.43): 10...Qa5 11.Be2 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd5 13.0-0 Nxf4 14.exf4 Qf5 15.Qd2 b6 16.Ne2 Qa5 17.Qe3 c5 18.d5 b5 19.Bb3 exd5 20.Bxd5 Rb8 21.Rfd1 Qc7 22.Ne5 Nxe5 23.fxe5 Bf8 24.f4 g5 25.Rf1 Bf5 26.Ng3 gxf4 27.Qxf4

Sep-18-18  RookFile: It seems like black is Arturo Anguiano, who is today a medical doctor. At one point he played in Boston and I believe won the Boylston Chess club championship one year.
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