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Ruud Janssen vs Ivan Sokolov
"Ruud Awakening" (game of the day Jul-02-2015)
Dutch Championship (2002), Leeuwarden NED, rd 6, Jun-26
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Krause Attack (D17)  ·  0-1



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Given 27 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-03-15  Gilmoy: <18.Bg5>, overworking Black's Qe7-Nd7 chain, reminded me instantly of Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 <20..Ng4!> overworking White's Qe2-Bd3 chain. Rubinstein makes us think Rd2 :) And on <18..Qxg5> I paused to think why, and noted that White's cheesy indirect-threat on b7 is countered by Black's R penetration on d, with Rd2 as the most painful outpost.

In fact, after <19.Rxd7 Rad8>, White's Rd7 is subtly <pinned to d2>. Now 20.Rfd1 doubling is normally strong because <rubberband recapture> "wins" d -- but here it's trumped by Q(g5/g4/h3) <sees weak back rank> -- a useful pattern-level lesson! Ergo, White's best move might be the meek 20.R<d>d1.

<AylerKupp: It would have been even funnier if Sokolov <meant> to play 23...Rxd1 but the rook slipped from his hand and landed on d2.> This has happened to me a few times on

- accidentally played 1..e6, said <oh dang I guess I'm in a French> ... and won :)

- Far, far more irritating is that pogo sometimes auto-generates popup windows, e.g. for imminent system shutdowns. If you're in the middle of a drag, such a popup ends your drag wherever your mouse is (and drops the piece thereat, if legal).

If that's f8 in the middle of a castling-drag, then ... you just played Kf8. I said <GRRRRRR oh dang I'll do h5 Rh6 like Naka> ... and won ^_^

Dec-24-15  SpiritedReposte: <23. ...Rd2!!> A bona fide beauty.
Jul-10-19  devere: 23...Rd2!! is a very pretty move, but I wouldn't ever call it easy!
Jul-10-19  The Kings Domain: Good puzzle and good game, neat last move by Sokolov. Nice pun too. :-)
Jul-10-19  mel gibson: I feel really annoyed that I didn't see that.

Stockfish 10 says mate in 16:

23... Rd2

(23. .. Rd2 (♖d8-d2 g3-g4
♗h5xg4 ♘c3-b1 ♕h3xb3 ♘b1xd2 ♕b3-h3 ♗e2xg4 ♕h3xg4 ♖d1-g1 ♕g4xf4 ♘d2-b3 ♕f4-f3+ ♖g1-g2 ♕f3xb3 ♖g2-g3 ♕b3-d1+ ♔h1-g2 ♕d1-e2+ ♔g2-h3 ♕e2-f1+ ♔h3-h4 ♗b4-e7+ ♔h4-g4 h7-h5+ ♔g4xh5 ♕f1-e2+ ♖g3-g4 ♕e2xh2+ ♖g4-h4 ♕h2xh4+) +M16/59 116)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I looked at 23...Rd2, but I didn't look long enough.

The best try I can find for white is 24. Qc4. If 24...Bxc3, then 25. bxc3 Bxe2 26. Qxe2! Rxe2 27. Rd8#.

But if 24...Bxe2, then 25. Nxe2 Rxd1+ 26. Ng1, and black is a ♖ up.

Jul-10-19  agb2002: White threatens Rxd8+.

The airy position of the white king suggests 23... Rd2, threatening Bf3+:

A) 24.Rxd2 Bf3+ 25.Bxf3 (25.Kg1 Qg2#) 25... Qf1#.

B) 24.Rf1 Qxf1+ 25.Bxf1 Bf3+ 26.Bg2 (26.Kg1 Bc5#) 26... Bxg2+ 27.Kg1 Bc5#.

C) 24.Na2 Rxe2 25.Rd8+ Bf8 and mate soon.

D) 24.Qc4 (or 24.Rg1) 24... Bf3+ and mate next.

E) 24.Kg1 Bc5+ 25.Kh1 Bf3+ and mate next.

F) 24.Bf1 (or 24.Bxh4) 24... Qxh2#.

Jul-10-19  areknames: 23...Rd2!! is a truly spectacular move which of course I missed. Also, belated kudos to <ezmerin> - who appears to be long gone from the site - for an apt pun.
Jul-10-19  yadasampati: Wow, Rd2!! is a most beautiful and surprising move. Not quite for a Wednesday, because it is pretty deep:

24. Rxd2 Bf3+ 25. Kg1 (Bxf3 Qf1#) Bc5+ 26. Rd4 Bxd4#

Jul-10-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: 23 ... Rd2 has two pretty obvious virtues: It averts the backrank mate along the d-file, and it tempts White to leave his own back rank underdefended.

The pleasant surprise is that it also has a third benefit of pinning White's bishop against the h2 mate square.

Jul-10-19  yadasampati: I love the pun by the way. If Ruud was sleeping, then he definitely woke up, seeing this move. That is why he resigned :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 23...Rd2!! is supposed to be Medium/Easy? I'd seen this before and I still couldn't solve it! Rd2 is a very weird-looking move if you ask me. If you study it you can understand why it wins, but it's far from an obvious move IMO.
Jul-10-19  saturn2: I saw 23... Rd2 attacking twice the Be2 which cannot move. And after 24 Rxd2 it is mate in two Bf3+ Qf1.

Not so difficult Imho. But I did not see the monday skewer.

Jul-10-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: <al wazir>,

Actually, 24 Qc4 allows a quick mate after 24 ... Bf3+. Yes, the queen defends f1. But she doesn't do anything for g2 or h2.

Jul-10-19  TheaN: The only useful activity regarding today's puzzle is argue with 2009-me.

<TheaN: Meh, what am I saying? My variations that are posted above are flawed. Main point: after Kg1 and Rf1, White has not done anything against the Black Rook and Black is AT LEAST perfectly fine. The Kg1 Bc5† line with mate is very easy, after Rf1 Black wins in quite some ways as the Rook is no longer attacked.>

Typical, I <again> missed the 'option' of 24.Rf1, but this is not truly testing. Although I was right ten years ago, it's a bit easy to get out of it like this.

23....Rd2 if anything, wins easily, yes. However, it's only after scratching the surface, you see how lost White is.

The threat is 24....Bf3 #2, a major piece or pawn move (sans Rf1 and g4) do not prevent this. A bishop move allows 24....Qxh2#. A knight move removes the defender of e2 and because the Qf1# is lively now Black can simply play 24....Rxe2! as the bishop on b4 is defending the back rank. After 24.Rf1 Black can show the power of the coordination with 24....Qxf1+! 25.Bxf1 Bf3+ 26.Bg2 Bxg2+ 27.Kg1 Bc5#.

Apparently, the only move that prevents mate in the short term is <24.g4>. This otherwise nonsensical move opens up the third rank so after the obvious <24....Bxg4> White can play <25.Nb1> attacking Rd2 and Qh3. Black wins without issue after <25....Qxb3 26.Nxd2 -+> but mate is prevented for a while.

Jul-10-19  cocker: You also have to see 24 … Bf3+, in the event of 24 Rxd2.
Jul-10-19  malt: 23...Rd2! not an easy move to see.
Jul-10-19  zb2cr: I missed the quiet move 23. ... Rd2.

The simplest variation is 24. Rxd2, Bf3+; 25. Bxf3, Qf1#.

As <mel gibson> points out, Stockfish claims White's best is 24. g4, followed by Nb1, giving up the Queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Took quite a while to find this one after discovering that all the obvious checking and/or capturing moves failed (usually due to Black's weak back rank).

Puzzles with quiet key moves are usually harder to solve than they are to understand <after> the solution has been found or demonstrated.

Jul-10-19  ndg2: I was one of the poor SOBs who thought Bf3+ and Rd2 were interchangeable when they are not. After 23..Bf3+?? 24.Bxf3 Rd2, the bishop would simply return to er. With first 23..Rd2, Bf3+ is unavoidable.
Jul-10-19  patzer2: <FSR: 23...Rd2!! is supposed to be Medium/Easy? I'd seen this before and I still couldn't solve it!> Me too! I quickly looked at 23...Rd2, but after 24. Rxd2 I stopped calculating.

That was a mistake, because after 23...Rd2!! 24. Rxd2 it's mate-in-two with 24...Bf3+! 25. Bxf3 Qf1#.

P.S.: So where did White go wrong? According to Stockfish 10, the losing move was 21. g3? allowing 21...Qh3 -+ (-4.00 @ 31 ply).

Instead, 21. Rxb7 Bxc3 22. Bxh5 Qxh5 23. bxc3 Qe2 24. Qb1 Qc4 25. h3 ⩱ (-0.74 @ 41 ply) gives White some practical drawing chances.

Earlier, White made an unfavorable piece trade with 18. Bg5? Qxg5 19. Rxd7 Rad8 ∓ (-0.87 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, White could have secured a strong advantage with 18. Qc2 Rfd8 (not 18...Nxe5? 19. g4 Bg6 20. f4 Nd7 21. f5! +-) 19. Na2 ± (+1.00 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

In the opening, our Opening Explorer indicates 10. e4 = to ⩲, as played in this game, has fallen out of favor at Master level as the last game played with it in our OE was in 2016.

Instead, stronger players prefer the popular move and computer choice 10. Nxd7 = as in White's win in Navara vs Ivanchuk, 2017.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: 23...Rd2 brings home the point. The threat is 24...Bf3+ followed by 24.Kg1 Qg2# or 24.Bxf3 Qxh2#.
Jul-10-19  thegoodanarchist: Whoever is in charge of puzzles has lost the thread!
Jul-10-19  seneca16: What was the idea behind white's Bg5? It looks pointless and his follow-up moves also look like a nothing-burger. Was he intoxicated? Nice shot from Sokolov, however.
Jul-10-19  alshatranji: I know you're supposed to be looking for the best move objectively, but you can't just ignore the rating. I wasn't only looking for the winning move, but for the "medium easy" winning move. So I ruled out every line that seemed to require a lot of calculation. I didn't look twice at Rd2. I mean that literally: I looked only once; it seemed to elaborate. Then this is the solution? I'm close to giving up on this part of the website.
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