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Antoaneta Stefanova vs Corina-Isabela Peptan
Moscow Olympiad (Women) (1994), Moscow RUS, rd 12
Indian Game: Pseudo-Benko (A46)  ·  0-1



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Jul-28-11  psmith: Following dzechielís method of commenting (I thinkÖ) For a moment I thought the solution was just Qh7#, then I realized it was Black to play. So White is threatening mate. How can it be defended? 35ÖQb1 took me a minute to see Ė it is not obvious because though it defends the mate, it does so in a sort of x-ray fashion, and anyway it just leaves the Q hanging; but the Q canít be taken because of Rf1# and meanwhile Black threatens Qxe1# as well as Qxd3. So White has to reply 36. Qe2 (to protect both e1 and f1). Then 36Ö Qd1 overloads the White Q which canít continue to cover both e1 and f1. That should do it. Or maybe Iíve missed something. Time to cut and paste this into the comment box and see.
Jul-28-11  patzer2: <Once> Great job as usual in using your imaginative prose to describe the plight of the losing side and the strategy of the winner in our puzzle.

We might continue the story as the White Queen gives up her attacking ambitions and tries to defend with 34. Qe2, but is totally thwarted in her second futile effort at over tasking (i.e. guarding both e1 and f1) by the Black Queen's bold 34...Qe4!

The shocked White Queen can of course capture the audacious Black Queen with 35. Qxe4, but the White King cowering with fear in the corner on h1 now realizes his worst fears as Black's Rook plays 35...Rf1# to justify his Queen's daring sacrifice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This is a neat example of the X-ray theme, as well as the obvious overload against the white queen.
Jul-28-11  Patriot: Material: White is up a pawn. (Somehow I miscounted and thought material was even.) Threats: Qh7#, Qg6+

It took me 3.5 minutes to see 35...Qb1. Up until this time the only thing I had was 35...Rf7, which loses quickly: 35...Rf7 36.Qg6+ Rg7 37.Re8# OR 36...Kf8 37.Qxf7# OR 36...Kh8 37.Re8+ Rf8 38.Rxf8# OR 36...Bg7 37.Qxf7+ and 38.Qxg7#. For some reason I didn't see 35...Bg7 as a defense which is far superior. So 35...Qb1 36.Qe2 Qd1 looks like a winner.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brilliant finish! About the only safe square for the white queen is the one she is standing on...Now that is not safe. It is like a dog chasing two rabbits. The Queen CANNOT guard both the bishop AND f1...
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I went with 35...Qb1 36. Qe2 Qd1
Jul-28-11  eaglewing: The finish shows White was lost due to playing 34. Qd3. Is there an alternative saving the game at this point facing the threat Qb6+ (and the need to protect square e2 from the black Queen)?

It looks like only 34. Rxe5 de 35. Qc6 has the potential to draw and in fact should do following 35. ... Qb1 (else?) 36. Qe6+ with enough compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: It looks like considerably more people found 36...Qd1! than Peptan's 36...Qe4! (see below). I think 36...Qb1 is a hair stronger, since 36...Qe4 allows White to delay mate for a few moves with 37.Qf2 h3! 38.Qxf8+ (38.Qg1 hxg2+ 39.Qxg2 Rf1#) Kxf8 39.Rd8+ Ke7 40.Rd7+. After 36...Qb1! White doesn't even have that.

36...Qd1: Gregor Samsa Mendel, rhickma4, FSR, goldfarbdj, TheBish, unionruler, jheiner, psmith, Patriot, doubledrooks, David2009, agb2002, CHESSTTCAMPS

36...Qe4: Phony Benoni, sevenseaman, gofer, Life Master AJ, morfishine, Funicular


Jul-28-11  sevenseaman: <FSR> Interesting. 36...Qd1 is clearly a better move and majority found it. It did not occur to me and in fact was a bit of a surprise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I can't see that much to choose between 36...Qd1 and 36...Qe4. Fritzie calls both as mate in 8, after white has done sacrificing as much material as possible to avoid a quicker loss.

36...Qd1 appealed to me because it was the original home of the white queen. It made an amusing finale for the black queen to end up en prise in the white queen's home square. But as far as I can see both moves have equal chessy merit.

Both moves win because the white queen cannot stay in touch with e1 and f1 at the same time. Once all the wood-chucking is over, black will mate on one or the other.

Jul-28-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: <FSR:> Interesting compilation of the move choice at black move 36. Although the choice makes no difference to the outcome, it is interesting to consider what factors influence the decision, e.g. perhaps it is an understanding of "general principles" i.e. a centralizing move is typically stronger than a non-centralizing move. In my case, it was probably bad thinking at the root of the choice- I had initially intended to continue 36... Bxc3?? against 36.Qe2. Even after realizing the blunder, maintaining the pin on the bishop seemed important.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: The back-rank exploitation syndrome. Here Black not only exploits beautifully White's back-rank weakness but also averts mate with ...35Qb1 & White is doomed.
Jul-28-11  ajile: It sure helps to know that Black has a win here. So what move prevents White from mating and at the same time deflects the queen's protection of f1.

Answer: ..Qb1!

Jul-28-11  Ratt Boy: Black is lost.
White threatens 36.♕g6+, winning the house, the farm, and the whole county. 35...♖f7? 36.♕g6+, ♖g7 37.♖e8#.
Black is scrooed. Desperate tries like 35...♖f1+ just lose outright. ...♗f6? Forget it. There is the rather goofy idea of 35...♕b1. Of course, White just gobbles the ♕, 36.♕xb1...

Wait. Black plays 36...♖f1#, doesn't she?
Hmmmmm...really? Really?

36.♕d2 also doesn't protect the f1 square. But 36.♕e2 holds the B and the f1 square. Butt at least Black isn't mated, right? ...Or...what about 36...♕d1!
White has no useful checks. No way to protect the ♕, ♗, and f1 square. Ho-lee Fudd. You're kidding.
Time to check. White probably resigns after Black's Move 36.


Oh, so ...♕e4 wins. I'm confident that ...♕d1 is equally winning. Nice puzzle. I bet White was stunned.

Jul-28-11  garrido.benjamin: Solution !Qb8!! and win
muy linda jugada de la dama negra
Jul-28-11  Sydro: Easy like a monday.
Jul-28-11  BOSTER: Analyzing the position (see diagram) from game Szabo-Pilnik

click for larger view

Bronstein wrote: " knight hanging over the white king is the threat ...Nh3 gxh3 Rg5 Ke1 Rg1#. Therefore the queen hurries to d4, so as in the event of ...Nh3 to guard the g1 square through the black queen at e3.(see next diagram) .

click for larger view

This technique is worth remembering."
In Zurich Smyslov missed his chance to defeat Petrosian using such technique.

Jul-28-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman> Your honest humbleness requires me to admit that while I spotted <35.Qb1> very quickly it took me some time, perhaps 15-minutes or so, to see the final solution of <36.Qe4>

<Ajile> Great to see you pitching in here! Now, we ready ourselves for the battle against Akobian

<Once> Beautiful

Jul-28-11  ajile: <morfishine>

Yes looking forward to the Team game.


Jul-28-11  avidfan: 35...Qb1 is a marvelous X-ray defence of mate on h7, combined with an attack on the White queen reminiscent of exploiting the weak back rank in
E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920
Jul-28-11  newzild: I found this to be quite easy for a Friday - but also very cute and instructive.
Jul-28-11  stst: Interesting...and, actually pretty easy!
Q chasing Q; Focus on f1 & don't allow g2 nor h2 Pawns to move: lock in the K!(to be smothered!) 35... Qb1 targeting WQ
IF (A)36.QxQ Rf1#
IF (B)36.Qe2 (still guarding f1) Qd1 (chasing Q!)
37.Q is forced either to take Bk Q, or leaves d and e files: if (i)QxQ Rf1#
if (ii)Q leaves e2 and away from d file, QxB is practically mate: 38.Qf1 is suicide.


Jul-28-11  stst: yeah...36...Qe4 has the same effect - the same concept: Chasing the WQ and forces her to leave guarding f1, or else be captured - no other choice
Jul-28-11  stst: have to admit that seeing Qb1 is pretty easy for me, as W's back rank B is weak; yet I missed the WQ attack on h7 could be salvaged by Bk Q going b1 -- attacking needs to be on balance with defense!!
Jul-28-11  sevenseaman: <David2009> has become synonymous with Crafty EGT. I do not know why Crafty cannot defend from either side. And what is its fetish about not including Castling. It will remain a limited tool till these features are incorporated.
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