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Stein Kristian Bru vs Sergei Movsesian
ECC (2001), Panormo GRE, rd 2, Sep-24
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  0-1



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sac: 24...Rxh5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-29-07  WuTank: wowowow I also got the move in 10 secs and than needed 1 min. to make sure its right.I really suck at chess but @#$%*!&it that was pretty neat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Excellent explanation, <Tactic101>, how a stunning sacrifice can be found by logically analyzing the tactical features in a position:

<Tactic101: *** I noticed immediately that Rxh3 would be mate had the h1 rook not been there. A deflection sacrifice was in my thoughts. So, I quickly found Qf1. Then, after finding the move, I looked deeper for the true benefits of Qf1. The threat of mate on g2, along with yet another attacker on the besieged h3 pawn (the knight, the rook and the queen) made it obvious that white could not defend further. Of course, white can play f3, but after Qxh1, black is attacking and is a full piece up to the boot. Completely winning here.>

Mar-29-07  Billy Ray Valentine: I found 35...Qf1 as a candidate move in a few seconds, and then spent a few minutes checking to confirm that it worked. I thought today's puzzle was easier than yesterday's puzzle, which took me a while to find. Like I said yesterday, this just goes to show how differently everyone thinks and recognizes patterns...
Mar-29-07  YouRang: Quite easy for a Thursday. In a second I spotted that Rxh3+ would be mate if Ph3 were not guarded by the rook on h1.

This means that the rook's defense of the 1st rank is an illusion. I can drop my queen on f1 without a worry.

The queen will either mate on g2, or it will capture the rook allowing the mate on h3.

Mar-29-07  blair45: I was a little too hasty. I played 35 ...Rxh3 to bring the Q to f1, which fails to 36 f3, of couse. At least I got the theme right.
Mar-29-07  kevin86: I got this one rather quickly. I didn't see any normal moves that did anything,so I looked for a nonsense one. Qf1 threatens the rook,mate in one at g2,and mate in two by Rxh3+ -and the queen is immune under the penalty of Rxh3#. White's check allows for a flight square at g4,but only delays the mate by one move.

Against all of the threats,white strikes his colors.

Mar-29-07  elmonk: Well put by <nuwanda>

Bishop delivers mate on d7. Queen to f1 was easy, continuation is the key!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <mkrk17,nuwanda,realbrob>, plus any I missed: I meant what I posted. Yes, it turns out 36. f3 merely compounds the disaster. But if you're playing in a real game, with the clock running, you have to consider every remotely plausible move your opponent might make before offering a ♕. I considered 36. Nxe5+ and saw that it loses. I didn't consider 36. b5, for example, because it's not even remotely plausible as a defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: All of a sudden I'm not seeing things I ought to spot easily, such as the solution to this puzzle. What causes chess slumps? It's very frustrating!
Mar-29-07  Stonewaller2: <kevin86> I wouldn't call ... ♕f1 a "nonsense" move after seeing the way the White ♔ is hemmed in and how his ♖h1 is the only other defender for his ♙h3. It more or less jumps out.

<playground player> The slumps come to us all, the difficult thing is to accept them and not let them frustrate you. Repeat after me: Oooommmmmm. Oooommmmm. ;)

Mar-29-07  twin phoenix: what a great game! two moves really stick out. (mainly cuz i doubt i would've seen them OTB.) 24.--, Rxh5. a great positional sac. i see no garauntee that black will recover the exchange but he does have a great position. and
28.--, f3+. a little easier to see perhaps cuz it's a clearance sack to give a place for the knight to settle in that is impenetrable and squarely in the middle of whites camp. still quite a pretty move. anyone got any suggestions to make seeing such moves easier OTB?
Mar-29-07  fzoozle: I looked at Qf1 early and worked out a whole bunch of white responses, but i missed Nxe5+. Luckily black still wins easily, but had it happened in a real game i would have gotten very worried for a couple of seconds.
Mar-29-07  Grampmaster: Nice! Rook & Knight mating pattern set except for one rook defender. So offer the queen deflection sac for a knockout win.

Checking out the sac refusal choices is what took all the analysis time. But Black has this wrapped up no matter what.

Nicely done.

Mar-29-07  Eurotrash: easiest thursday, or maybe I was just lucky to spot it instantly.
Mar-29-07  schnarre: After 36...dxe5 it's pretty much over (37. Qxf4 exf4+, 38. Kf3 only prolongs the inevitable--& not by much!).
Mar-29-07  ruzon: The Rxh5 sac was 11 moves before checkmate, and then Black sacrificed a pawn to get his Knight to f4. How does he know that White will move Be1 and let his Knight stay there? How does he know that his position will trump his loss of the Exchange?
Mar-29-07  ronaldducalang: hmmm I had Rxh3 then Qf1 in mind...
Mar-29-07  YouRang: <ronaldducalang: hmmm I had Rxh3 then Qf1 in mind...> No good, I'm afraid.

After 35...Rxh3 36. Rxh3 Qf1, white has 37. Rh6+! Kg7 38. f3, and black has nothing except a lost rook.

Mar-29-07  Fezzik: This is a one-move idea that has been seen in several games. I'm kinda disappointed that Chess Games has used it for a Thursday puzzle. This seems more of a Monday-Tuesday position.
Mar-29-07  MostlyAverageJoe: Regarding this line:

35. ... ♕f1 36. ♘xe5+ dxe5 37. ♖xf1 ♖xh3+ 38. ♔g4 ♗d7#

I would not consider the above to be the best play by white, since it practically forces the mate, much faster than would occur either after the (dismissed by some) moves 36.f3, 37.f3, or 37.Qxf4 (even if all of these are obviously losing due to the immediately ensuing material imbalance).

<nuwanda: I suppose this was missed by most posters, because the only speak about Rh3 mate or as <MostlyAverageJoe: <Ingolf: <aazqua> The mate isn't on h3, it's on d7.>> In what line?>

Actually, I did see the mating line above, just as <al wazir> did. For some reason (not enough sleep this week) I thought that "mate on d7" meant that white king ends up on d7, hence my incredulity.

BTW, the mate is really on c2 :-)

And on a number of other squares, depending on how badly the white responds.

Oh, well. New puzzle in 6 minutes. Yippee!

Mar-30-07  Gilmoy: What strikes me is Black's reckless attack. I Googled ECC'01:

17th Euro Chess Club Cup
287 players in 39 teams, in a hotel :)

White: Stein, Randaberg SK (Norway), 5th board, no rating -- the best non-pro player at his club?

Black: Movsesian, Bosna Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), finished 5.5/7, 3rd best of all 5th boards.

So maybe Movsesian threw a mad gambit at the hobbyist to make him blink?

As <ruzon> notes, 24 .. Rxh5 is a dubious sac. The point must be to lure the Bf3 into exchanging, opening holes in White's Kingside. 24 .. Nxh5 is sterile -- the Knight has no life there, and g4 is toothless.

Going back further, Black's 18 .. h5 is probably OK -- White can't keep that pawn, and must not open g yet (19 gxh5 g4 20 hxg4 Bxg4, then Kf7 and a bowling alley).

White seems to play for a breakthrough on g: 22 Bf3 supports gxh5, 23 Kg2 protects h3, 24 Rg1, and later a dainty Kf1? But White's King is momentarily hemmed. Did Black see the exchange sac now, or plan it even earlier? 28 .. f3+ in for a penny -- Black is behind, must win by force, keeping the pawn doesn't, but planting the Knight just might.

30 Kg3 egad -- White help-mates himself?! But 30 Kg1 would cut the Rh1's defense of the back rank. Then the game continuation through 33 .. Qa6 leaves White helpless to Bf1 and the delightfully silly Bg2 Qf1 etc. Hence White's QR must defend 1, so it has to abandon c. Then 32 Ra1 Be2 and the skewer opens White:

33 Qe3? Qxe3 34 fxe3 Nxh3+ 35 Kg2 Bxg4 and Black has Bc8 and g4 to save the Knight, with two pieces for a Rook, and a passed pawn vs. a doubled pawn.

33 Qc3?? Bxg4 threatening Ne2+.

33 Qb3 a5 34 Qa4? Nxh3+ 35 Kg2 Nf4+ 36 Kg1 Rxh1+ 37 Kxh1 Bxg4.

White's extra material is trapped in the corner, his Queen must defend h3 (hence not Qb3 Bc3), his King has no move, and none of his pieces are active. 32 Ra1 may even become a target for Qd4 (Bc3? Qd3). Hence, 30 Kg1 is probably also losing.

30 Kg3 wasn't fatal -- 35 Rd1 returns the exchange and keeps a pawn. White blinked.

Mar-30-07  nuwanda: hi <MostlyAverageJoe>,

of course i agree with you that the line

35. ... Qf1 36. Nxe5+ dxe5 37. Rxf1 Rxh3+ 38. Kg4 Bd7#

is not the best in the sense that it prolonges mate as long as possible. But it is definitely the critical line to calculate, because this line "could" be the hole in the combination, if there wasn't the "luck" of having a bishop at a4.

The other moves f3, Qxf4 are very obviously not the refutation of the Queen-sac.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: A theme of deflection is beautifully executed by a stunning Queen sac. After 37.Rxf1 Rxh3+ 38.Kg4 Bd7#. If my memory serves me right, Mr Stewart Reuben, Chairman FIDE organising Committee, hosted a dinner party for Movsesian & me in a Chinese Restaurant at Hastings, way back in 1997-98 Chess Tournaments. We three of us enjoyed the Chinese cousine & I also enjoyed the warm company of the two fine gentlemen that lovely night!
May-29-08  apexin: 11...a5 might be better to keep th night on c5
Jan-26-09  azi: For me, the amazing part of the game occurs when, from a cluster of interconnected pieces, logically placed on the board, the ray of possiblity that a highly original pattern of moves, dawns (the combination)out of a rumbling sea of mental analysis. Such is the chess instinct that tells you that 'something' is there that is not visible to most naked eyes but is to the mind of the dedicated chess player. Moves 31 to 36 are an example of this process akin to a wolfpack surrounding their prey before moving in for the kill. A very attractive game, I thought.
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