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Aleksander Wojtkiewicz vs Spyridon Skembris
Chess Olympiad (1990), Novi Sad YUG, rd 12, Nov-30
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A13)  ·  1-0



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sac: 25.Rd7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-30-06  Palma Vest: As pointed out by Monokroussos (, this indeed is a very well calculated attacking game!! I wonder why it doesn't get much publicity...
Jul-30-06  ThunderStorm: Great game by Wojtkiewicz!!
Feb-15-09  sleepyirv: I'm happy with just finding the first move of the sequence: 25.Rd7 and I recognize I would go after the knight with 27.Be4. That's pretty good for me for a Sunday puzzle, I'm really happy with finding the interference move.
Feb-15-09  RandomVisitor: 22.Qh5 might lead to an earlier win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (25?). Material even. "Insane."

OK, who doesn't notice the glaring weakness at f7? Experienced players all know that f2/f7 has the reputation as the weakest square on the board.

We saw this in Monday's game:

Lusgin vs Joffe, 1968

and in Thursday's game:

Vallejo-Pons vs Leitao, 2005

and in Friday's game:

Piket vs Gulko, 1990

So it shouldn't be a surprise that this square shows up again. White would love to play 25 Qxf7+, but the black queen provides protection. This can only mean one thing...

25 Rd7

Attacking the black queen as well as cutting off protection of f7

25...Bxd7 26 Qxf7+

OK, decision time for black. Does the king run to h8 or h7? There are pros and cons for each square. For instance, after


white can play

27 Ng6+ Kh7 28 Nxf8+

removing a key defender. But, if instead



27 Nxd7

picks up a piece and threatens 28 Qxe8, 28 Nxf8+ and 28 Nf6+ (the last two moves both leaving the black queen exposed to capture).

As this position is "insane", I'm certain that there's much more that I'm not seeing at this time.

I'm going to check now and see how this position works itself out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Too easy for a Sunday. You simply to have to interfere with the second rank defense. Worry about the details later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I didn't find the key move, 27. Be4

What's wrong with the straightforward 30. Bxf5 exf5 31. Nxf8 ? If 31...Qe4+, then 32. f3 Qe2+ 33. Kh3 Qf1+ 34. Kh4, and black is out of checks.

Feb-15-09  Utopian2020: Black's 29...Qe2 is inferior to 29...Nd6 forking white's queen on f7 and bishop on e4. 30...Nxe4 holds off the white hordes for a while longer.
Feb-15-09  outplayer: The first move is obvious but I thought if Wojtkiewicz has calculated all the line through. For instance what happens if black plays 30...Bxg7?
Feb-15-09  thegoldenband: I figured there was some sort of non-capturing interference/obstruction motif, but went for 25. Bd8, which looks clever but only draws (at best).
Feb-15-09  Open Defence: the real move to find here seems to be 27.Be4
Feb-15-09  Granny O Doul: <thegoldenband> Yes I think White would be very happy to draw after 25. Bd8 Qxe5!
Feb-15-09  rookattack: What should be white's response to 27... Rd8?
Feb-15-09  stacase: After a string of stupidness not getting even the first move, I get the first two on a Sunday insanity!

Feb-15-09  Chicago Chess Man: <outplayer> 30..Bxg7?? loses to 31 Qxe8+ Kh7 32Bxf5+ where black loses his queen to avoid mate.
Feb-15-09  UnsoundHero: Of course, white is going to anticipate an obvious fork like 27...Nd6 in his calculations. White planned 28 Ng6+ Kh7 29 Nxf8 double check Kh8 30 Qxg7 mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It should be fairly easy to find the main theme today.

click for larger view

White would dearly love to play 1. Qxf7+ here. Hammering away at the black king with an invasion force of queen, bishop and knight with "king's indian" Bg2 ready to paratroop in and join the fray.

Only the Qc7 stops our fun. So let's block the defence with 1. Rd7. Because the rook is protected by the knight, black either has to drop his queen or recapture with the Bc8. But the bishop doesn't defend along the seventh rank so we then get to play our intended Qxf7+.

Incidentally, Fritzie decided that black's best was 1. Rd7 Qxd7 2. Nxd7 Bxd7 3. Be5. Black chucks away his queen for rook and knight, but white's mating attack runs out of steam. White should still win, but more slowly.

After 1. Rd7 Bxd7 2. Qxf7+ Kh8, we have this position

click for larger view

So far so tweazy, but now what? We have a great position, but we are a rook down and with no obvious follow-up move. And this is where I started to struggle in human mode.

But stop a second and look at black's problems. He can't play gf here, because of Ng6# His Bc7 is pinned against his queen. The Re8 has to defend the Bf8. This gives white time to bring up the reserves with the excellent 27. Be4 - a move I missed when I looked at Rd7.

Now the Nf5 is also "pinned" against white's threats to h7. For example, 27...Ne7? 28. Ng6+ Nxg6 29. Qxg6 Kg8 30. Qh7+ Kf7 31. Bh4 and black is going to get mated (in 15 more moves according to the silicon monster).

Fritzie also reckons that 27. c5 wins for white, largely because black is so tied up. But 27. Be4 is the sunday move.

To all those who cry tweazy, did you find 27. Be4? If so, I doff my hat to you. I didn't. And would we have had the cojones to play Rd7 without spotting this in anything other than a five minute game? Speculative sacrifices often turn out to be fool's gold, as the opponent grabs the material, dodges the attack and grinds to an endgame win.

Feb-15-09  percyblakeney: Didn't find Be4 while looking for something more forcing, but only came up with Ng6+ followed by Nxf8 and in the end white should be happy to draw from this position:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  laskereshevsky: the interference move ♖d7 its enough easy to find... i got it in 4/5 seconds...

but the rest isn't a piece of cake...

Feb-15-09  mollyboo: I need help on an entirely different matter, and don't quite know where to post the request. So here goes.

I always have trouble pawn-storming a castled position (not knowing which pawns to advance and when), but I also struggle defending against this type of attack. Is there a secret formula??????

I'd be most grateful to anyone directing me to some instructive games, pointing out the various conditions that make the attack/defence work. Thank you.

Feb-15-09  JuliusCaesar: Reply to AnEnglishman: I know what you mean, and that's a great (and almost always effective) strategy in blitz chess. However, in a game with classical time controls, those 'details' have a nasty habit of biting your bottom when you least expect it. If I was given 10 for every time one of my brilliant schemes was foiled by a minor 'detail', I'd be able to bail out the Royal Bank of Scotland! -:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <mollyboo: I always have trouble pawn-storming a castled position>

I know what you mean! Perhaps you are thinking of a position like this one:

click for larger view

How does white make progress? Any pawn move by white can be fairly easily blocked by black. 1.h6 is met by 1...g6, and so on.

I think the answer is in the question. It is very difficult to carry out a successful pawn storm against a castled king. You really need to get your pieces involved. And against half decent defence you need to think about sacrifices too. The g and h pawns are particularly vulnerable to a piece sacrifice.

If you take a look at just about every succesful attack on the kingside on this site and in books, you will see that the winner generally advances his pieces ahead of his pawns. Today's game is one example of that sort of thinking.

Take the example I gave earlier. The position is fine for black if there are no white pieces around. But add a bishop on c4 and a queen on d4 and it becomes entirely different.

click for larger view

Now 1. h6 is a lot harder for black to meet. 1...g6 2. Qg7# or 1...hg 2. hg and white has a great attack.

Of course, the tricky bit is getting your bishop and queen to central positions like that, but that is another question altogether!

It can be very tempting to try to win with pawn-storms. Those little guys rush forward, swamping the opponent with the minimum of risk to you. But against any half-decent opponent, your pawn storm will either get blocked or dismantled.

So my advice would be to try to play with pieces to attack a castled king rather than pawn-storms. The daily puzzles on ought to give you an idea of the many different piece attacks against a castled king.

Feb-15-09  goodevans: Got 25 Rd7 pretty much instantly, but 27 Be4 (which seems to be the key move) eluded me. No marks for me today.

Does anyone claim to have got this?

Feb-15-09  znprdx: This a superb demolition. It is quite amazing how all of White's pieces come into action. I'm curious how many of today's top 10 would even find this OTB...(given that both Calsen and Dominguez-Perez botched less complex positions). Instinctively I did not think that ...25.Qx[R]was a viable option - and admit I'm blown away by the text - it is as perfect a chess combination I've ever seen. I came up with a finesse of my own (yes I cheated - moving the pieces)a kind of crushing zugswang: After the 'obvious' 25.Rd7 I thought ...g6 was forced. 26. Nxg6 Qx[R]d7 27.Ne5! Qc7 28. Be4!!(not g4?..Bg7) ..Bd6 29. Qg4+
Feb-15-09  znprdx: <Utopian2020: Black's 29...Qe2 is inferior to 29...Nd6> you may have found the spoiler - if time pressure were a factor...a queens ending - but with white up a pawn on each wing Black can't expect much.

<Once: so so 'tweazy' ...> even Urban Dictionary has yet to define this term -- would you care to oblige?

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