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Boris Gelfand vs Alexey Shirov
Dortmund Sparkassen (1996), Dortmund GER, rd 2, Jul-06
Slav Defense: Czech. Wiesbaden Variation (D17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-17-15  lost in space: 25. Rxg6+ hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Rh1 and it seems white has enough advantage to win this.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <gawain: I see that W can win two pawns and a queen for two rooks by 25 Rxg6+ hxg6 26 Qxg6+ Kh8 27 Rh1. But how decisive is this?

Enough, apparently. In the game Shirov resigns after a couple of spite checks>

Note that white was ahead by a bishop for two pawns in the initial position; being able to trade down and neutralize black's threats is therefore sufficient to win.

Feb-17-15  Dr. J: So the solution is < 25 Rxg6+! hxg6 26 Qxg6+ Kh8 27 Rh1 Rf2+ 28 Kb3 Rb8+ 29 Ka3! Rh2(?)> 29...Qxc3# is illegal, but 29...Qxh1 allows somewhat lengthier resistance. <30 Qf6+ Kh7 31 Be4+ Kg8 32 Rg1+ > winning the Queen.

This is a Tuesday puzzle?

Feb-17-15  patzer2: Took me a short while to see the combined clearance, deflection and pin combination with 25. Rxg6+ hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Rh1 .

Fritz indicates Black's clearly decisive error was 12...0-0?! Instead, 12...dxc3 13. Nxc6 to puts up more resistance with some hope of a draw.

Earlier in the opening, I prefer 7...Bb4 = as in D Baramidze vs F Vallejo Pons, 2012.

Feb-17-15  Oliveira: <Dr. J: This is a Tuesday puzzle?>

Hardly, by any measure. Light Thursday, maybe. Nice game, by the way.

Feb-17-15  diagonalley: hmmmmm... "easy"(?)... well having first looked for a conclusive sequence, it took me several minutes to get to Q+B vs R+R ... (i concur with <Dr J> and <Oliveira> ... not straightforward)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a two pawns.

Black threatens 25... Rxf6 and 25... Rxc6.

White can win material by exposing the black king and pinning the queen with 25.Rxg6+ hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Rh1:

A) 27... Rf2+ 28.Kb3

A.1) 28... Rh2 29.Qf6+

A.1.a) 29... Kh7 30.Be4+ Kg8 31.Rg1+ Rg7 32.Rxg2+ Qxg2 33.Bxg2 + - [Q+B vs R].

A.1.b) 29... Kg8 30.Rg1+ Kh7 31.Be4+ wins.

A.2) 28... Rb8+ 29.Ka3

A.2.a) 29... Rh2 30.Qf6+ as in A.1.

A.2.b) 29... Qxh1 30.Bxh1 Rfb2 31.Qf6+ Kh7 (31... Kf8 32.Qxe6+ followed by Bd5 + - [Q+B+P vs 2R]) 32.Be4+ Kg8 33.Qxe6+ followed by Bd5 + - [Q+B+P vs 2R].

B) 27... Qxh1 28.Bxh1 + - [Q+B vs 2R].

Feb-17-15  KabutoKoji: more like a monday...
Feb-17-15  oldnovise: First part is easy
Rxg6 hxg6
Qxg6 Kh8
Rh1 but then

Kb3 Rb8+
Ka3 Rh2 (better is Q x h1)
Qf6+ Kg8
Rg1+ Rg2 and then you have to find
Rxg2 and it is won

Feb-17-15  morfishine: 25.Rxg6+ hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Rh1
Feb-17-15  M.Hassan: "Easy"
White has a Bishop for two pawns

25.Rxg6 hxg6(forced)
26.Qxg6 Kh8 (forced)
27.Rh1 pinning the Queen

Black has two lines to continue:
A) To continue in a Queenless game against two Rooks:
28.Bxh1 Rf2+
29.Kb3 Rb8+
30.Ka3 Rf1 to mate on a1
31.Qh6+ Kg8
32.Qxe6 Kg7
33.Qe5+ Kh6
34.Qxb8 Rxh1

B) Black can try a check and eventually hoping to save the Queen:

27.Rh1 pinning the Queen Rf2+
28.Kb3 Rb8+
29.Ka3 Rh2 that saves the Queen for now

30.Qf6+ Kg8
31.Rg1+ Rg2
<if 31...Kh7 32.Qg7#>

32.Rxg2+ Qxg2

Feb-17-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a bishop for 2 pawns with strong pressure on the black king from the major pieces. Black threatens 25... Rxf6 and if 26.Q moves Rxf1. This forces white's hand:

25.Rxg6+! (forced and forcing) Kh1 26.Rh1

Winning the queen, but it's tricky...

A) 26... Rf2+! 27.Kb3! (forced- 27.K-b1|c1|d1 Rf1+ trades rooks and breaks the attack) Rb8+ 28.Ka3 Ra2 (breaking the pin, but...) 29.Qf6+! (not Rxh2?? Qxh2 30.Qf6+ and white will have to settle for a draw) Kg8 (Kh7 30.Be5+ Kg8 31.Rg1+ wins) 30.Rg1+ Rg2 31.Rxg2+ Qxg2 32.Bxg2 wins

B) 26... Qxh1 27.Bxh1 with a winning position.

Time for review

Feb-17-15  TheaN: Tuesday 17 February 2015 <25.?>

A super GM duel between Gelfand and Shirov, so this promises to be perhaps an easy puzzle, but probably more complex than your normal Tuesday.

At first sight, we see white is a bishop up for two pawns, but at the moment both that bishop and the queen are under tremendous pressure. If the bishop moves along the long diagonal, black can capture the queen on f6 and threaten to hit on c3, devastating white. If the bishop moves on the short diagonal, black can capture on g2 first which is an immediate game over, ie 25.Bb5 Qxg2+ 26.Rf2 Qxf2+! .

Then look at the white options. Seeing the circumstances, white has basically only one option, and that is utilizing the aggressively placed major pieces. 25.Qxf8+? doesn't work as the rook and bishop are not sufficiently coordinated after 25....Rxf8 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Be4 Qh4 . So, <25.Rxg6+!>. At first sight I completely missed that after the forced <25....hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8>, white has <27.Rh1!>, using the skewered defense of h1 from the initial position to pin the black queen. Black is lost after 27....Qxh1 28.Bxh1 Rf2+ 29.Kb3 Rb8+ 30.Kc4 and the black rooks need at least one tempo to double up, giving white the time to bring the bishop back. Note that 30.Ka3 is very risky due to 30....Rgb2 which comes with an immediate mate threat.

Instead Black can attempt to save the queen by playing <27....Rf2+ 28.Kb3> moving to the back rank is bad because of 28.Kb1? Rf1+! 29.Rxf1 Qxf1+ , this happens also when black captures on h1 first. <28....Rb8+ 29.Kc4 Rh2>. This however fails because now white wins a crucial tempo on the king <30.Qf6+ Kh7 (Kg8 31.Rg1+) 31.Be4+! Kg8 (Qf5 32.Rxh2+ ) 32.Rg1+ > and now black is lost after 32....Rg2 33.Rxg2+ Qxg2 34.Bxg2 having only a rook left vs a queen and bishop.

Time to check.

Feb-17-15  Nick46: <diagonalley: hmmmmm... "easy"(?)... > We appear to be on a comparable wavelength. It took me over half an hour of intensive brain-(w)racking over a real board but I got there in the end.
Feb-17-15  TheaN: I slightly overestimated the threat of 27....Rf2+ 28.Kb3 Rb8+ 29.Ka3 Qxh1 30.Bxh1 Rgb2:

click for larger view

White can simply defend against mate by capturing on e6: 31.Qxe6. 31.a5 is technically better as it given an escape square to the king and white can build his own mate up, but important is that after 31.Qxe6 black has no threats, ie 31....R8b3+? 32.Qxb3 Rxb3+ 33.Kxb3 with a clearly won ending.

Nonetheless, the manouver with 29.Kc4 wins as well, it just goes a tad bit slower due to more spite checks.

Feb-17-15  TheaN: <TheaN: Nonetheless, the manouver with 29.Kc4 wins as well, it just goes a tad bit slower due to more spite checks.>

Interestingly enough, I now analyze the manouver 29.Kc4!? Rf4+ 30.Kc5 Rf5+ 31.Kd6:

click for larger view

The only variation that does not evaluate mate on move 31 but instead +50 is 31....Qxh1 32.Bxh1 Rbf8 33.Ke7! R5f7+ 34.Qxf7 Rxf7+ 35.Kxf7, but this now evaluates as mate in 10:

click for larger view

After the variation with 29.Ka3, 29....Qxh1 30.Bxh1 Rbb2 evaluates as +7 as black is not forced to give his rooks for the queen. Interesting, in the sense that 29.Ka3 might be the 'safer' win: "I took out your threats and am up a queen and bishop for two rooks", whilst the variation after 29.Kc4 taunts black: "give more checks and I'll bring the king closer for mate". White has little room for error in the Kc4 variation, but isn't given much alternatives either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The only thing I could come up was 25.Rxg6+ hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Rh1, although I didn't see the checks (would've saw it OTB). Also, with a queen and bishop vs. 2 rooks ending, it seems kinda tough to convert it, but I know Gelfand will.

Interesting thing about the final position: if the rook were on g1, it would be a case of "side to move checkmates their opponent immediately").

click for larger view

Qxg7# 1-0 or Qxc3# 0-1?

Feb-17-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I'm comfortable with saying the ending position is resignable and a puzzle solution. Unless Black connects his rooks, it will be very hard to avoid losing one to a queen fork. But if he's careful to keep them connected then they can't accomplish much.
Feb-17-15  patzer2: <TheaN> Thanks for pointing out the continuation beyond 25.Rxg6+ hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Rh1 , which shows there's more to this Tuesday puzzle than a simple three-move clearance, deflection and pin combination.

In particular, appreciate you pointing out the continuation 27...Rf2+ 28. Kb3 Rb9+ 29. Ka3 Rh2 30. Qf6+! Kh7 31. Be4+ Kg8 32. Rg1+ . I missed the in-between move 27...Rf2+, and didn't bother to calculate or consider any difficulties beyond 25.Rxg6+ hxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Rh1 . So your post was quite helpful.

P.S.: As <Olivieira> observes, this is more difficult than our usual Tuesday puzzle.

Feb-17-15  DrGridlock: I saw:

Bingo (Rxg6) and
Bango (Qxg6)

It took me a while to find

Bongo (Rh1).

After that, it took me some time to convince myself that winning a queen and two pawns for two rooks was a sufficient solution to a Tuesday puzzle.

Feb-17-15  mistreaver: Tuesday. White to play. 25.? Easy.
25 Rxg6+ hxg6
26 Qxg6+ Kh8
and it took me forever to see that now
27 Rh1 Qxh1
28 Bxh1
leaves white decisive material up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Slav Defense: Czech. Wiesbaden Variation>

When has this line been introduced? Was there a <Wiesbaden> tournament?

Feb-17-15  paavoh: @whiteshark: RE: Wiesbaden and D17 variation.
Alekhine-Bogoljubov 1929 match, first 8 games in Wiesbaden.

Please check out: Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929)

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks <paavoh>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Wow, what a position. To be so simple and contained but so tightly interlaced. I cannot believe that I found the move. The only forcing moves that I could find to get out of the Queen Rook pin was either Qxg6+ or Rxg6+ but it took me forever to see the pin of the Queen and recognize that I could win the Queen for a Rook. I did not see the moves played use the pin to save the King.

Really good work by Gelfand.

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