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Arseny Alavkin vs Viacheslav Diu
Russian Championship (2002), Krasnodar RUS, rd 3, Aug-29
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Classical Variation Marshall Gambit (C48)  ·  1-0



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Mar-31-12  LoveThatJoker: I'm going to go with 17. Qh5 with the threat of 18. N5g6#

a) 17...Qxh1+ 18. Kd2! Qg2/e4 19. N5g6+ Qxg6 20. Nxg6+ Kg8 21. Nxf8 is devastating

b) 17...Rf6 18. Qxe8+ Nf8 (18...Rf8 19. Qxf8+ Nxf8 20. Nf7#) 19. Nf7+ Rxf7 20. Qxf7 Qxh1+ 21. Kd2 Be6 22. Bxe6 Nxe6 23. Qxe6

c) 17...Qxh1+ 18. Kd2! Rf6 19. Qxe8+ transposes to b)


Mar-31-12  LoveThatJoker: I didn't get 18...h6, nonetheless I most certainly got 17. Qh5 and 18. Kd2.

Good enough for the full point.


Mar-31-12  kevin86: I'm only taken half credit,as I only had the first few moves. I did have the main sac,however.
Mar-31-12  TheBish: A Alavkin vs V Diu, 2002

White to play (17.?) "Very Difficult"

I'm guessing that part of the difficulty involves sacrificing the rook. (Although not too tough to see that 17. Qf3 Qxf3+ 18. Nxf3 and 17. Rf1 Qe4+ leave something to be desired.)

17. Qh5! Qxh1+

White was threatening both 18. Neg6+ and 18. Qxe8 Rxe8 19. Nf7#, so I'm thinking Black may as well get greedy. If instead 17...g6 18. N7xg6+ Kg7 19. Nxf8 Qxh1+ 20. Kd2, White has an overpowering attack, e.g. 20...Nd6 21. Nxe6+ Bxe6 22. Qg5+ Kf8 23. Qh6+ Ke8 24. Qxe6+.

18. Kd2 h6

Or 18...g6 19. Qh6 Rf6 20. N5xg6+ Rxg6 21. Nxg6+ Kg8 22. Qf8# (the pin!). Also hopeless is 18...Qg2 19. N5g6+ Qxg6 20. Nxg6+.

19. N5g6+ Kh7 20. Bxe6 Bxe6

Or 20...Rf6 21. Bg8#, or 20...Rh8 21. Qf5!.

21. Nxf8+ Kh8 22. Qg6 Bg8 23. Qxe8

Now mate is unavoidable, e.g. 23...Qe4 24. Nfg6+ Qxg6 25. Qxg8#, or 23...g5 24. Neg6+ Kg7 25. Qe5+ Kf7 26. Qe7#.

Mar-31-12  Patriot: Material is even.

Black threatens 17...Qxh1+.

I think 17.Qh5 wins.

17...Qxh1+ 18.Kd2 Qg1 19.Qf7 looks very interesting or 19...Qxe8 20.Rxe8 Nf7#

17...Nf6 18.N5g6+ Qxg6 19.Nxg6+

17...g6 18.Qh6 looks good.

No time to look at this further.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Jeez. I was thinking of 17.Qh5 at a later stage.
Mar-31-12  Elo: Instead of Alavkin's correct 21.Qxe8, I had intended to play the immediate 21.Qf7, which looked like it wins on the spot.

However, after 21...Nf6 22.Bc2+, black has the saving 22...Bf5! And the f8 knight is now protected after 23.Bxf5+, Kh8. Amazingly, the attack is then completely blunted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got something very enjoyable but probably unforced.

17 Qh5 g6 18 N5xg6+ Kg7 19 Bd5!

click for larger view

19...Nf6 20 Bxg2 Nxh5 21 Nxf8 Kxf8 22 Nxc8 Rxc8 23 Bxb7.

click for larger view

Mar-31-12  Elo: The entire game is extremely well played by Alavkin. I wonder how much of this was home prep? Alavkan must have seen all of this when he first played 12.Bb3! Or at least when he played 15.d4!
Mar-31-12  Memethecat: 17Qh5 threatening Nf7+ Rxf7 Qxf7 mate next, is screaming at me.

17Qh5 Qxh1+ 18Kd2 Nf6 19N5g6# cant be that easy.

17Qh5 Qxh1+ 18Kd2 Qg2 19N5g6+ Qxg6 20Nxg6+. Q for R & more to come.

17Qh5 Qxh1+ 18Kd2 Rf6 is even worse, # in 3

No time to check blacks refusal of the R


Close enough.

Mar-31-12  Memethecat: <SimonWebbsTiger> Snap! It does scream "play me".
Mar-31-12  BadKnight: i got Qh5 Qxh1 Kd2 then i kind of got lost in complications. Since it was a puzzle i assumed it had to have a solution(not one of the nasty traps heh!) and all other forcing moves were not quite working. i wudnt have found the sequences in an OTB game. i am usually too scared to try to solve a weekend puzzle, so its not too bad.
Mar-31-12  BlackSheep: Nice puzzle Qh5 is jumping at you laughing in the face of blacks lone queen attack which can only lead to nothing , theres some intrinsic nuances yes but you would feel confident playing Qh5 without calculating every variation . After looking at the whole game you can only conclude that blacks 10...f5 plan(?) is a suicidal idea and is asking to be strategically blown off the board surely just 10...dxe5 , Nxe5 , Qg5(or e7 I think) and black has good development and activity for the pawn .
Premium Chessgames Member
  numbersguy70: 20.Bxe6 would allow a knight to stay on f8 and force black to sacrifice his queen to avoid mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I actually got this one (17.Qh5!) But I thought that this was as hard as some/most Sunday puzzles ... I think you could spend a good hour here, [I spent close to (- maybe over - 20) and not calculate all of the tactical blows ... ... ...]
Mar-31-12  David2009: A Alavkin vs V Diu, 2002 White 17?

Try 17.Qh5 threatening mate with N5g6# and seeing Qxh1+ 18.Kd2 Rf6 19.Qxe8+ Nf8 20.Nf7+ Rxf7 21 Qxf7 mating (I think) on g8. 17... (or 18...) h6 runs into Nh6+ Kh7; Nxf8 with check. 17...g6 allows 18.N5xg6+ Kg7 19.Bd5 protecting the Rook. There may be other variations: in haste, time to check:
Having got this far I lost my Internet connection at mid-day, so came back to this much later. I have half solved it. Here's the puzzle position

click for larger view

Setting it up in Crafty End Game Trainer (interactive link The EGT plays the 17...g6 defence and then swaps Queens (the line analysed by <Jim> which I hadn't seen) and I found not being able to castle against the EGT most frustrating - without this option I couldn't break through, drew first time round (giving back material to simplify too soon), lost(!) once and decided to seek silicon help. White can indeed win without castling by mobilising his B with an early b4 at the end of <Jim>'s variation. Now, why didn't I think of that?

Mar-31-12  sevenseaman: <David2009> 18...Rf6 is a devil of an idea. See my analysis of this line in a comment to <WinKing>.

I posted a request in your forum.

Mar-31-12  agb2002: The material is equal.

Black threatens 17... Qxh1+.

The first idea is 17.Qh5, threatening 18.N5g6+ and 18.Qxe8:

A) 17... Qxh1+ 18.Kd2

A.1) 18... g6 19.Qh6

A.1.a) 19... Rf6 20.N5xg6+ Rxg6 21.Nxg6+ Kg8 22.Bxe6+ Bxe6 23.Qf8#.

A.1.b) 19... Rg8 20.Nf7#.

A.1.c) 19... Qg1(2) 20.N5xg6+ Qxg6 21.Nxg6+ Kg8 22.Bxe6+ Rf7 23.Qf8#.

A.2) 18... h6 19.N5g6+ Kh7 20.Nxf8+

A.2.a) 20... Nxf8 21.Qxe8 and the double threat 22.Qxf8 and 22.Bc2+ looks winning.

A.2.b) 20... Kh7 21.Qxe8 also seems to win.

A.3) 18... Qg1(2) 19.N5g6+ Qxg6 20.Nxg6+ Kg8 21.Nxf8 Kxf8 22.Qxh7 + - [Q+P vs 2N].

B) 17... g6 18.Qh6 Rf6 19.Bc2 with attack. For example 19... Nf8 20.Bxf4 Qxh1+ 21.Kd2 Qxa1 22.N5xg6+ Nxg6 (22... Rxg6 23.Qxf8+) 23.Nxg6+ Rxg6 24.Qf8+ Rg8 25.Be5+ Ng7 26.Bxg7#.

C) 17... h6 18.N5g6+ looks similar to A.2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Cycle the knight windmill. Black has gone in arrears how? 17.Qh5 me with

you ng6+ cum, gladio et sale dare swindle so the flying guillotine et

tu, brute way ne5 swirled in d3 e5 feat. My tole do for knights trample

a funicular tow in e5 e7 ail in 17.Qh5 window kingd2 one sire? Opening

10...f5 tn booby trap account 11.c3 iron out the wrinkle nd5 vilificate

blew in E7. Choose g5 ment qxg2 ogle frees foor 16.ne7+ kh8 a line level

corroborate loading E56g. Queen honed a price in g2 rook shape footman

d2. Hellz bells light off the hook so black get h6 pack in g6+ kh7 ar

ment nearly it down in. Gob a king ritual in don g6+ leave nxf8+ then

baby it grow in 21.bc2+ look it fast in king to queen should lock in.

Mar-31-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even, but white's minor pieces (mainly the knights) are much better, subjecting the castled black king to severe pressure. Black's has the immediate, serious threat of 17... Qxh1+, but there's really not any supporting cast for her majesty. This looked to me like a rook sac right from the start.

17.Qh5!! with the immediate mate threat.

I almost wimped out with 17.Bd5?!, which looks strong for white, but it's not a finishing stroke. This clearly is:

17... Qxh1+ (g6 or h6 transpose to other lines) 18.Kd2! and now:

A) 18... Qg2 19.N5g6+ Qxg6 20.Nxg6+ Kg8 21.Nxf8 Kxf8 22.Qxh7 wins.

B) 18... g6 19.Qh6! Rf6 (Qg2 19.N5xg6+ forces mate in a similar way) 20.N5g6+ Rxg6 21.Nxg6+ Kg8 22.Qxf8#

C) 18... h6 19.N5g6+ Kh7 20.Nxf8+ Kh7 21.Qf7! Be6 22.Bc2+ (Bxe6? Nf6 defends!) Kh8 23.Qxf8+ Bg8 24.Qxg8#

C.1) 21... h5 22.Qxh5#

C.2) 21... Nf6 22.Bc2+ Kh8 23.Qxf8+ Ng8 24.Qxg8#

D) 18... Other (except 18...Qe(d)1+ 19.KxQ) 19.N5g6#

Time for review....

Mar-31-12  mikmik777: March 31, 2012

White to play: 17.?
A Alavkin vs V Diu
"Very Difficult"

Using Jeremy Silman's "fantasy position" concept, all I need to do is to remove the h7-pawn and it's mate in one. With this in mind, my answer for this Saturday puzzle is:

17.Qh5 g6

(17. ...Qxh1+? is a blunder because of 18.Kd2 Qg2 [or 18. ...Qe4] 19.Ng6+ Qxg6 20.Nxg6+ and 21.Nxf8 with decisive advantage for White.)

18.N5xg6+ Kg7
19.Bd5 Qg5 [offering an exchange of queens]

(19. ...f3 trying to maintain the threat on the h1-rook fails to 20.Bh6+ Kf7 [20. ...Kf6 21.Qf5 mate] 21.Nf4+[discovery] and White takes the Black queen next move on g2 or on g6)

20.Qxg5 Nxg5
21.Nxf8 Kxf8
22.Nxc8 Rxc8 [22. ...Nf3+ 23.Ke2]

And, White has a very easy endgame with an extra piece and a couple of extra pawns..

Time to check...

I got the first 2 moves correctly but I missed the 18. ...h6 response.

Mar-31-12  LivBlockade: <<kevin86:> I'm only taken half credit...> I guess this really is a tough puzzle, considering you commented on it in 2005!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Ha tell dogtooth in it oil again in blowing almost it's peak it higher handle tease candle grief in 10...f5. G2 loosen try in patrol it d2 in, Lovely fate. End 17.qh5 in crick it also foot more in call dicky it oh in katana bishop swing around in c2 wangle ko it's mania for both kings. Wet it tergid eon in b5 nd4. Engross it island in the sun again isn't it I monarch in allo d2 ok spring same it herding h5 fly it hope in time. Ng6 in plant right packer mitigate minding it piggy not win qg2 skits tells in cop at edict knighte7 in erstwhile pardon key spot in h5 rumble in why the reaping commence in qxh1 tee noire d2 ko deemed in bank it h5 yes pucker up pawnh6 germain engender in bisect a more back in g6 wiper kh7 l0 20.nxf8+ nxf8 at c2 plus king i g7 round i mercy another manipulated win freedom in peak it d8 freer go g5 la. Youd gel at in estimate ne7 g6 for king success it wolf in pawn coffin f5 lack f4 f3 a jester in c2 ring age pg6 man king over new hit fool and chain reaction knightg6 rub advance more kingg7 i date checker e8 pincer edifice prudent a ne3 hoop ar old jail as knightg6 ever march in! A price to tell for f5 it straight in c2 over.

17.qh5 qxh1 18.kd2 h6 19.n5g6+ kh7 20.nxf8+ nxf8 21.bc2+ ( )

Apr-01-12  M.Hassan: "Very Difficult" White to play 17.?
White has a mating threat if he gets his Queen out:

17.Qh5 Qxh1+
18.Kd2 h6
19.N5g6+ Kh7
20.Bxe6 Bxe6
21.Nxf8+ Kh8
The game will continue longer, but for time being, White is a bishop ahead.

Apr-01-12  dragon player: Today's position is very messy. Lets have a look to see how the situation is. The only idea I see is this:


Now the threat is 18.N5g6+


I only see one defence:

19.N5xg6+ Kg7
20.Qe5+ Kh6

I think this is a winning attack.
Time to check.


In the game, another variation was played, but I was right Now soon further with the sunday puzzle, I'm once again too late.


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