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Boris Kreiman vs Larry Christiansen
United States Championship (2002), Seattle, WA USA, rd 3, Jan-07
Four Knights Game: Spanish Variation (C49)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 34...Qxg1+! 35.Qxg1 (35.Kxg1? Rxg4 36.Qxg4 Rg8 0-1) Rxg4 36.Qxg4 (if the queen moves away, it appears that 36...Rag8 wins in all cases) a2 37.Qd1 (or 37.Qg1) Rxb4 (intending 38...Rb1) wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Didn't look far enough: 37.Qg1! Rxb4 38.Qa7! Rb1+ 39.Kg2 a1=Q 40.Qxf7+ with a perpetual check.
Apr-21-18  NBZ: Yup I thought after finding Qxg1 that it was 0-1 for sure, Qg1! followed by Qa7! is a great save.
Apr-21-18  pdxjjb: Before the puzzle position, white misses the very strong 33 bxa4. A line involving a similar looking sham sacrifice leaves the surviving black rook unable to stop the a-pawn. (Found by engine.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I never thought I'd still be in it this far into the week, and I'm still here.

I did consider 34...Qxg1+ 35.Qxg1 Rxg4 36.Qxg4, but that's it.

Well, can't believe I'd say this, but bring it on Sunday puzzle.


< dakgootje: Always nice when you get the puzzle of your birthday, especcially when its a saturday ;-) >

I was born on a Monday. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Got it -- except that I thought black had a win. I didn't see the perpetual.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I see I looked at this game previously, so I can't count it. I must have unconsciously remembered the solution from 12 years ago,
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This POTD is classed as 'very difficult', but what else could Christiansen have had at move 34 in view of the threats?
Apr-21-18  jith1207: <penguincw>: you were not born anywhere closer to Sunday (; Neither did I. Actually I did on Tuesday (Monday in western world), which makes sense.
Apr-21-18  jith1207: Same as <Al Wazir>, I thought there must be some swindle for white but could not come up with it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: and <37...Rxb4 38.Qa7 Rb1+ 39.Kg2 a1=Q 40.Qxf7+ Kh8 41.Qf8+> is the obvious end.
Apr-21-18  diagonalley: <al wazir> ... me too (as usual!)
Apr-21-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: <al wazir>, <diagonalley> -- me three.

Step 1: Recognize the mating net.

Step 2: See that ... Qxg1+ is the only way to break it, and also gives Black strong chances.

Step 3: See and rule out cutesy alternatives, and go with the simple main line.

Wednesday puzzles are sometimes harder than this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens mate in three with Rg7+ and Rxg8 (Qxg1+ Qxg1).

This suggests 34... Qxg1+:

A) 35.Kxg1 Rxg4 36.Qxg4 Rg8 wins.

B) 35.Qxg1 Rxg4

B.1) 36.Qxg4 a2 37.Qd1 (37.Qh5 a1=Q+ 38.Kg2 Rg8+ wins) 37... Rxb4 38.Kg2 Rb1 wins (39.Qh5 Kg7 40.Qg4+ Kf8 and the king will be safe on e7).

B.2) 36.Qa7 Rbg8

B.2.a) 37.Qxf7+ R8g7 wins.

B.2.b) 37.Qxa3 Rg1#.

B.2.c) 37.h3 Rg1+ 38.Qxg1 (38.Kh2 R8g2#) 38... Rxg1+ 39.Kxg1 a2 wins.

B.3) 36.Qa1 Rbg8 as above.

Apr-21-18  malt: Gone with 34...Q:g1+
35.Q:g1 R:g4 36.Q:g4 a2 37.Qg1 R:b4 38.Qa7 Rb1+ 39.Kg2 a1/Q 40.Q:f7+ =

37.Qd1 R:b4 38.Kg2 Rb1 39.Qh5 Kg7
not looked at 35.K:g1

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: It's really annoying to see the drawing maneuver in other lines but not in the critical one.
Apr-21-18  morfishine: Good point <perfidious> This is an absolute only move <34...Qxg1> not like some others where it "looks like" the only move, this is 100%
Apr-21-18  catlover: Agreed. I got this one. That probably means that it is not "very difficult". :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I assume White pointed out <FSR>'s drawing line <37.Qg1! Rxb4 38.Qa7! Rb1+ 39.Kg2 a1=Q 40.Qxf7+ with a perpetual check> when he offered the draw after 37. Qg1!

The alternative 37. Qd1?? loses to 37...Rxb4 -+ (-52.55 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 37...?).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Everything is forced but you have to do some calculating.

For example 36 Qa7 is no good because of 36...Rbg8, below, making 37 Qxf7+ unplayable, because black can interpose with either rook (or move the king).

White now has to give up his queen for the two rooks, allowing the a pawn to promote.

click for larger view

Apr-21-18  Grandma Sturleigh: I had 34... Qxg1+ 35. Qxg1 Rxg4 36 Qxg4 Rxb4, after which 37. Qg1 Ra4 is also a draw.
Apr-21-18  landshark: I got this one too but like a lot of you I believed Black had the win. When I saw the game agreed to a draw before Black even took the b-pawn I was a bit shocked. Then I found Qa7. Nice puzzle, kind of easy for Saturday I agree simply because 34... Qxg1 appears forced from a defensive standpoint.
Apr-21-18  AlicesKnight: Like <al wazir> and others .....
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Totally agree. Christiansen's moves were completely forced. He had to play those moves or resign. A very easy problem.
Apr-21-18  Dr Winston OBoogie: In a classical game after just 31 moves (A game averages out about 40 moves I guess) black playing 32..a4 was just a crime but missing 33.Qg2 was just as Criminal for white. Not the greatest game I've ever been through but I would <like to think> I would have won as white.
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