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Piotrowski vs Jerzy Sokolow
12th Polish Correspondence Championship (1971) (correspondence), POL
Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Alapin Gambit (C69)  ·  0-1



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Apr-15-07  chessmoron: <al wazir> The queen sac was not necessary...simply 25...Qxg3 with 26...Nh4 forcing queen to take knight or mate by Qg2.
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  al wazir: <chessmoron>: Yep, that works. Thanks. <srml>: I think you're suggesting the same idea, but it's a little confused.
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  al wazir: <TheSlid>: The Russian name for the bishop is "slon," which means "elephant."
Apr-15-07  THE pawn: OH YEAH! I got it. Well, most of it. I wasn't sure of what to do after Qxc6+ (and I had a hard time visualing the board), but I'm satisfied of my overall comprehension!
Apr-15-07  Confuse: theres ground level, then theres valleys, then theres 10,000 leagues under the sea, then theres this...
Apr-15-07  gilbertblondy: ECO = C68
(C69= 4.Bc6 dc 5.00 f6 6.d4)
Bonne journée à tous
Apr-15-07  solidricin: I found 18...Rxd4 very quick :)
Apr-15-07  Gilmoy: Saw up to Qxd2. Missed Qxc6+, but I saw that White is dying at h2, so any Queen sortie is essentially a resignation. And since the Arab mate pattern needs only a Knight + line mover, Black can offer up his other 3 pieces.

<soberknight: 18 ...Rxd4!! 19 gxf4 Rxd2 (20 Qb3 Rxf2 21 Kh1 Bf3+) ...> 20 Qc1 would maintain threat on the Rook, which indirectly constrains the Knight. OTOH, in this case it doesn't matter: 21 .. Nf3 and White can't defend h2. So 20 Qxd2[], hence the 19 gxf4 line is hopeless.

<Finally, 24...Bg4! 25 Qh8 Nxe1 forces mate.> The Knight prevents the spitish Qh4+, hence 25 Q(h7,h8) Ng5 to keep that diagonal closed, with 26 .. Bf3# still unanswerable.

Apr-15-07  PolishPentium: Would someone please explain clearly why White cannot safely take the Black Q on move 19? I'm a little sleep-deprived today and can't seem to think clearly...^^ PP presumes that if 19 p x Q (at f4) then Black will reply 19...RxN. It's hard to see that the white Q can avoid taking the rook, so 20 QxR (at d2), leading to the N fork 20... Nf3+, winning the Q. Does white seem all that bad after the smoke clears, as it were? Isn't the continuation as played in the game actually worse?

Please cheerfully poke holes in the flaws in PP's (admittedly superficial) analysis...^^

Apr-15-07  MostlyAverageJoe: The f3 was quite inviting to the black knight, and taking care of its two defenders also enabled a nice family fork, so this line:

18. ... Rxd4 19. cxd4 Qxd2 20. Qxd2 Nf3+ 21. Kg2 Nxd2

was quite easy to find. The line after 19.gxf4 is also not too hard to see. Since nothing else really came to mind, I looked at the solution to find that I missed the 20.Qxc6+ move. In retrospect this move looks fishy - white goes off on the pawn & rook hunt while leaving the black forces surrounding its king - this cannot be good.

Subsequent HIARCS analysis of the game made me feel better, allowing to conclude that the interesting portion of the game after the puzzle position ends at move 21.Qa8+? The rest is the consequence of that blunder. White should've played 21.Qc3, not that it would help much at this point anyway. Subsequent 23.Kh1? instead of Kg2 did not help, either.

Oh, yes, and 20.Qxd2 evaluates as a slightly better move than 20.Qxc6+.

Apr-15-07  RandomVisitor: After 18...Rxd4:

click for larger view

1. (-1.78): 19.gxf4 Rxd2 20.Qxd2 Nf3+ 21.Kg2 Nxd2 22.Bc1 Bf3+ 23.Kh2 Nxe4 24.Be3 c5 25.a4 Bb8

2. (-2.38): 19.cxd4 Qxd2 20.Qxd2 Nf3+ 21.Kg2 Nxd2 22.f4 Bb6 23.a4 Ke7 24.Rec1 bxa4 25.Rxa4

3. (-6.45): 19.Re2 Bxe2 20.cxd4 Qxd2 21.Qxc6+ Kd8 22.Rc1 Bb6 23.e6 fxe6 24.Qa8+ Kd7 25.Qxh8 Qxb2

4. (-7.03): 19.Re3 Qxe3 20.cxd4 Qxd2 21.Qxc6+ Kd8 22.gxh4 Qxb2 23.Rc1 Rh6 24.Qc3 Qxc3 25.Rxc3

Apr-15-07  android21: Can anyone help me clarify what happen if White play 25.Rf1? Will Black just capture 25. .. Qxb2? But that doesnt give instant win yet...
Apr-15-07  Marmot PFL: Saw this one relatively quickly for a Sunday, which actually I miss much more often than not. As it was a correspondence game black could work it out to almost mathematical certainty by moving the pieces and rechecking each line, on the other hand we have the advantage of knowing in advance that there is a solution.
Apr-15-07  psmith: <android21> See chessmoron's post above.
Apr-15-07  Crowaholic: Got this one and I'm by no means a 2000 player yet. ♘f3+ forking d2 was easy to see, but the white knights were in the way and the black queen and knight were forked. So the main difficulty for me was to find an irrefutable way to enable the fork. 18. ..♕xd2 19. ♕xd2 ♗xd4 20. ♙gxh4! and 18. ..♗xd4 19. ♙gxf4 are useless, so only 18. ..♖xd4 remains.

And after 19. ♙cxd4 ♕xd2! 20. ♕xd2 ♘f3+ or 19. ♙gxf4? ♖xd2! it's easy to see that Black gets at least two ♘ for a ♖. In the second line, White actually has to allow the fork because otherwise 20. ♕c1 ♗xf2+ and Black gets excellent compensation for the sac'ed queen. Although the mating threats can be avoided for now, Black can easily collect more material:

21. ♔f1 ♗h3#, better: 21. ♔h1 ♗f3+ 22. ♔h2 ♗xe1+ 23. ♔g1 (if 23. ♔h3 then 23. ..♗g2+ 24. ♔h2 ♘f3# and after 23. ♕xd2 ♗xd2, Black is a ♘ and a ♗ up) followed by 23. ..♗f2+ 24. ♔h2 (24. ♔f1 ♗g2#) 24. ..♗e3+, winning the ♕ for a ♖. These may not be the best moves by Black, but it's easy to see that the position is won.

So I figured that 19. ♙cxd4 is White's best response, and that this line still gives Black a clear advantage. I looked at the solution and was pleased to see that my reasoning was confirmed, although admittedly, 20. ♕xc6+ surprised me. I just hadn't considered that move, not that it causes Black a lot of trouble in this case, though.

Apr-15-07  TrueBlue: I got the main idea, the knight fork, etc. Yesterday's was much more difficult!
Apr-15-07  Crowaholic: <TheSlid>: After ♙hxg4 ..♙hxg4, doesn't Black threaten to shove his queen down the open h file? That seems to be the point behind 6. ..♙h5, after all. Note that

a) the black pawn now threatens the knight defending h4. White can allow ..♙gxf3 ♘xf3 (only after ♘bd2, of course), but at the very least Black recaptures and weakens the White kingside.

b) after 7. ..♕f6, Black also has the option of playing ..♕h6!, it seems White has to respond with ♖e1 and ♔f1 to avoid ..♕h1#, sort of reversing the castling.

Here's an example line: 9. ♙hxg4 ♙hxg4 10. ♖e1 ♕h6 11. ♔f1 ♙gxf3 12. ♕xf3. I'm not sure whether White is losing, but the material is equal again and White is very much on the defensive.

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  playground player: 18...Black suggests a friendly game of Monopoly. Seriously, though: I saw Rxd4, with the idea of building up for a Knight fork. But I never would have expected White to do such a silly thing as take his Queen out of the fray by sending her off on a pointless raid (rather like Jeb Stuart disappearing just when Lee needed him at Gettysburg).
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  kevin86: Black has a queen and knight under attack and he immediately thrusts his rook to the slaughter. In effect,he gives white the cjoice of taking the queen or two rooks. He takes the rooks-and then is later to be mated by the queen.
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  fm avari viraf: It's a scintillating Corr. game where both players have ample time to find the best moves but here White played placidly & allowed his opponent to attack & ultimately succumbed.
Apr-15-07  jheiner: What a wonderful puzzle. I will admit I didn't see the knight fork at all, and was looking instead along lines of Qxe5 and allowing the knight sac, opening up the White King for attack, with the slow but inevitable rook lift from h8-h6-g6. I'm sure this is refutable.

Anyway, looking back at the puzzle now that I see it, the knight fork looks almost obvious. Thanks CG. Aside, I never get Sunday puzzles, so just happy to see the clear theme after the fact.

Apr-15-07  centercounter: I just looked at Rxd4 gf Qxd2 and more or less stopped on instinct. Over the board, that would be all I needed to see in time pressure to know that the rest is easy with a naked King.
Oct-24-10  sevenseaman: This game is example that shows us where careless and insouciant play will invariably lead.

The one urgency White has shown is in castling, and that turned out to be into the eye of a brewing storm.

22. Qxh8 is far too mechanical. Instead 22. Qxa7 helps blunt the attack on White's K.

Apr-05-18  aberdeengrad: To reply to android21: If 25 Rf1, Qxb2 and White's Q is still under attack and can't play 26 Qxg4 on pain of mate. He must therefore play some move like 26 Qh7, whereupon Black can play 26...Qxd4 or 26...Bxd4, and White is completely on the defensive (and White's e5 pawn is about to fall). At least, that's how I see it.
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  Ziryab: 15.Re3!

Kevin Wicker <200 Modern Brilliancies> sees 14..Nf4 as the start of a combination, but it seems that White is fine after 15.Re3. What am I missing?

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