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Alexey Sokolsky vs Alexander Kotov
USSR Championship (1949), Moscow URS, rd 8, Oct-27
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  1-0



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Given 17 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-23-05  dac1990: I believe no other phrase suits it better: Holy Crap.
Jan-23-05  Backward Development: or maybe...
Jan-23-05  Shah Mat: im stunned i got this one. the puzzles must be getting easier...even getting a thur or fri puzzle is new to me.

the follow up is 40...Bf7 41 Rxf7 Qf8 42 Rxf8+ Kh7 43 hxg5 Rxa2 44 Qh6#

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: As usual, the first move was easy for me to see, but I couldn't spot the crusher. I wonder--during my career, how many brilliancies did I let slip through my fingers?

Does anyone else think that 18...g6 was much worse than 18...g6?

Jan-23-05  Shah Mat: <Does anyone else think that 18...g6 was much worse than 18...g6?>

i imagine you meant 18...g7 =P

Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: I saw 36 ♖xf8 ♕xf8 37 ♖b8 which I thought would win but Black doesn't have to take the second rook. Instead he can play 37 ... ♗f7 38 ♖xf8 ♗xf5 with a winning advantage.
Jan-23-05  nikolaas: I wonder or immediately 36.Rb7 wouldn't work as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: Correction 38 ... ♗xh5
Jan-23-05  Catfriend: I have the exceptionally bad luck of meeting almost all the puzzles before... So I knew this one. About the game, the move that makes me curious is 20.h4. Is it a bold and correct attack? An over-aggresive initative?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I always like to see Kotov get beaten.
Jan-23-05  TheAussiePatzer: I wonder if Kotov included this in his famous book about calculation ;)
Jan-23-05  child of my tears: My solution was the simple Qe8 and white has won the bishop with big pressure on the cornered king. The actual continuation was very pretty.
Jan-23-05  child of my tears: Aah I see! Nxh6 is definitely the strongest move - I looked over the position with Fritz and after 36.Nxh6 the eval of 36.Bxh6 is #8!! Best move here is apparently 36.Kg7 with only 7.28 lol
Jan-23-05  erimiro1: What about 36. Qe8 B:f5 37. e:f5 and wins the R or the B?
Jan-23-05  Ernesto7: easiest sunday puzzle ive seen so far.....pretty cool tactics by Sokolsky
Jan-23-05  Granite: What's wrong with 37. ... Kg8 instead of Rh7? I saw the first few moves but got hung up on how to deal with the exposed king if he just moves away instead of blocking with the rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An interesting facet of chess:A stable position can crumble like a house of cards through sharp combinational play.

Here is a good example.

Jan-23-05  alphee: Not too complicated a puzzle. I wonder with I sarted by removing the g5 pawn? The following was very similar 36. hxg5 fxg5 37. ♘xh6 ♗xh6 38. ♖h8+ ♔xh8 39. ♕xh6+ ♔g8 40. ♖b8+ ♖d8 41. ♕g6+ ♔h8 42. ♖xd8+ ....
Jan-23-05  MatrixManNe0: What about 36. Rxf8?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Child of my tears> Your 36. Qe8! was also my quick solution. It is a simple double attack that also wins. However, today's Sunday puzzle solution 36. Nxh6! is admittedly a bit more decisive and definitely has more sparkle.

If Black had responded 36...Kg7, then play might have continued 37.hxg5 fxg5 38.Qxg5+ Kh7 39.Nf5 Bf7 40.Qh4+ Kg6 41.Bxe5 Qxe5 42.Rxf8 when Black's best move is resignation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Of course 36. Qe8! could have some flair. Some interesting possibilitis include:

36.♕e8! ♗xf5 37.exf5 ♕e7 38.♕g6+!

[38.Qxf8 Qxf8 39.Rxf8 Kg7 40.Rbb8 is the simple winning solution]

38...♔h8 39.♕xh6+ ♔g8 40.♕g6+ ♕g7

[40...Kh8 41.hxg5 Qf7 42.gxf6 Qg8 (42...Qxg6 43.fxg6 Rf7 44.gxf7 Kh7 45.Rxf8) 43.R1b7 Rxb7 (43...Qxg6 44.fxg6 44...Ra8 45.Rxa8 Kg8 46.Rxf8+ Kxf8 47.Rb8+ Rd8 48.Rxd8#)44.Rxb7 Qxg6 45.fxg6 Kg8 46.Rh7 Bd6 47.f7+ Kf8 48.Bh4 Ra7 49.Bf6 Rxf7 50.Rh8#]

41.♖xf8+ ♔xf8 42.♖b8+ ♔e7 43.♕xg7+ ♔d6 44.♕xf6+ ♔c5 45.♕xe5+ ♔xc4 46.♕xa5 is obviously decisive for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Although 36. Nxh6! is a deflection that sets up a winning pin, it also has other possibilities for a mating attack. So, I've added it to my demolition of pawn structure collection.
Jan-23-05  The beginner: MatrixMaNeo

I also thought about something like 36 Rxf8 - Qxf8. 37 Rb8 to get black away from defending h6. After looking it over for a while i realised this wont do any good for white, as black can always escape via g8. So white will give up two rooks for a bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  BlueMooner: I thought it maybe interesting to note, having read some of rumination’s below, presumably this game was used as a ‘Puzzle of the Day’, that as I subsequently played through this game as part of Ludek Pachman's excellent 'Modern Chess Strategy', which he presented as an example of Knights versus Bishops in the middlegame that as a consequence of Sokolsky's immaculate strategy of consistently ensuring the 'badness' of Black's bishop pair he eventually reaps the harvest of his labour; which can be seen in the game that Sokolsky can then press through on the kingside with some well constructed tactical opportunities. Anecdotally, it would therefore compound the theory that all tactics stem either from inaccuracy or, as in GM play, strong strategic play produces tactical opportunities.
Oct-19-08  piatos blue: Very nice sacrifices by white. I like this game.
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